Biogen Agrees to Pay $900 Million Over Alleged Improper Doctor Funds

Biogen Inc.

agreed to pay $900 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to medical doctors to induce them to prescribe the corporate’s medicine, the Justice Division mentioned Monday.

From 2009 to March 2014, Biogen allegedly used talking and consulting charges and different remuneration to influence medical doctors to prescribe the corporate’s a number of sclerosis medicine equivalent to Avonex and Tecfidera, which resulted in fraudulent funds by Medicare and Medicaid for the medicine, in response to a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2012 by former Biogen worker Michael Bawduniak. The swimsuit was unsealed in 2015

Underneath the Civil Conflict-era False Claims Act, non-public people can file civil fits on behalf of the federal authorities and obtain a portion of any restoration associated to fraud. Underneath the Biogen settlement, the corporate can pay $843.8 million to the federal authorities, of which Mr. Bawduniak will obtain 29.6%, or almost $250 million. Biogen can pay an extra $56.2 million to fifteen states.

“Biogen believes its intent and conduct was always lawful and applicable and Biogen denies all allegations raised on this case,” an organization spokesman mentioned. The settlement doesn’t embrace an admission of legal responsibility by Biogen, he added. Biogen first disclosed the tentative settlement of $900 million in July.

Mr. Bawduniak alleged that Biogen paid a whole bunch of medical doctors and healthcare suppliers to offer consulting recommendation that the corporate couldn’t use or didn’t want, and deliberately paid its audio system and consultants above market charges by mechanically including compensation for 3 hours of journey time, in response to Greene LLP, the regulation agency representing Mr. Bawduniak.

The corporate additionally allegedly held talking occasions—wherein a health care provider provides a discuss a drug or illness to a bunch of colleagues—at resorts and eating places the place it offered lavish meals and free alcohol.

Biogen, based mostly in Cambridge, Mass., had $10.9 billion in income final yr, down from $13.4 billion in 2020.

The corporate has struggled to interchange declining gross sales of its a number of sclerosis remedy Tecfidera after the drug went generic in 2020. Tecfidera had $681 million in U.S. gross sales final yr, down from a peak of $3.3 billion in 2019. A number of sclerosis medicine represented 69% of Biogen’s product gross sales final yr, down from 73% in 2020.

The corporate had hoped to bolster gross sales with its new Alzheimer’s illness drug Aduhelm, however the firm stopped advertising it earlier this yr after Medicare declined to pay for it, citing the dearth of a confirmed profit and considerations over its security.

Write to Joseph Walker at

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Appeared within the September 27, 2022, print version as ‘Biogen Settles Kickback Probe.’

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Rahul Diyashi
News and travel at your doorstep.

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