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Biogen pays $900M to settle physician kickback allegations

Pharmaceutical company Biogen has agreed to pay $900 million to resolve allegations it paid kickbacks to physicians to prescribe Biogen drugs, the U.S. Justice Department said Sept. 26. 

The False Claims lawsuits alleged that Biogen submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid by paying kickbacks to its top physician prescribers to dissuade them from prescribing drugs from competitors. 

The lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts in 2012 by whistleblower and former employee Michael Bawduniak. According to the complaint, from Jan. 1, 2009, to March 18, 2014, the company paid remuneration — including in the form of speaker honoraria, speaker training fees, consulting fees and meals — to physicians who attended their speaker programs or consultant programs to induce them to prescribe Avonex, Tysabri and Tecfidera.

Biogen will pay $843.8 million to the U.S. and $56.2 million to 15 states. Mr. Bawduniak will receive approximately 29.6 percent of the settlement's federal proceeds.

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