October 1, 2018
Pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen Corporation
will pay $625 million
to the federal government and 43 states to settle claims that between 2001 and 2014 a pre-filled syringe program at one of its subsidiaries, Medical Initiatives, Inc., violated federal law. Despite lacking the proper licensing and registration, MII opened FDA-approved sterile vials of oncology drugs, and in a non-sterile environment, pooled the medicine and transfered it into non-FDA approved pre-filled syringes which were then sold to oncology practices and physicians. This practice allowed Amerisource to capture the "overfill" in the original FDA-approved sterile vials and produce a larger number of pre-filled syringes. AmerisourceBergen also resolved claims that it provided unlawful kickbacks to physicians to induce them to purchase pre-filled syringes rather than vials. The settlement resolved three qui tam actions initiated by whistleblowers Michael Mullen, Daniel Sypula, Kelly Hodge, and Omni Healthcare, Inc.; a payment of over $93 million will be made to relators. Previously, in September, 2017, AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group pleaded guilty to illegally distributing misbranded drugs and agreed to pay $260 million in criminal fines and forfeitures. USAO E.D.N.Y.