Allergan to Pay $13M to Resolve Whistleblower-Initiated Suit
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
Pharmaceutical maker Allergan, Inc. has agreed to pay $13 million to settle claims it illegally promoted eye drugs through a kickback scheme to induce doctors to prescribe its products.
According to the complaint, Allergan improperly provided services such as business consulting and continuing medical education to boost its sales by encouraging doctors to recommend Allergan’s products, even when less expensive alternatives were available. The kickbacks allegedly resulted in fraudulent claims to the government for drugs prescribed to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The case was filed in 2009 by two Philadelphia-area whistleblowers, both ophthalmologists, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. In 2010, the government declined to intervene in the lawsuit, and the whistleblowers continued to pursue the action with their legal team. The funds recovered will be shared by the federal government, 19 states involved in the case, and the two whistleblowers.