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Pharmaceutical Company Will Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Allegations of Illegal Kickbacks to Physicians

  • The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), and 15 state AGs reached a settlement with pharmaceutical company Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Pacira”) to resolve allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to physicians for prescribing its medication in violation of the federal False Claims Act.
  • According to the DOJ, the case, which was brought by the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and arose from a whistleblower complaint, involves allegations that Pacira paid illegal kickbacks to physicians for prescribing its analgesic EXPAREL and disguised the kickbacks as research grants. Pacira allegedly did not contractually require that grant recipients adhere to the research proposal or achieve any milestones before payment, and did not follow up with grant recipients to ensure that the contracted-for research was being carried out.
  • Pacira will pay approximately $2.81 million to the United States and approximately $689,000 to the 15 states under a separate settlement to settle claims relating to state Medicaid.