Devicemaker agrees to settle kickback allegations for estimated $18M — 5 details

Merit Medical Systems will pay an estimated $18 million to settle alleged False Claims Act violations, the devicemaker announced July 15.

Five things to know:

1. The $18 million settlement will resolve a Department of Justice investigation into a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Merit Medical's former chief compliance officer, Charles Wolf, MD.

2. Dr. Wolf's original complaint was filed in April 2016, and the U.S. government intervened in the suit this June.

3. Dr. Wolf alleged that Merit Medical illegally influenced physicians to use its devices by paying consulting fees and by providing paid advertising for loyal users.

4. Merit Medical denied the allegations. Further details on the settlement will be released when documents are finalized.

"Given the mounting costs and time demands associated with the investigation, we believe this resolution is in the best interests of the business," Merit Chair and CEO Fred Lampropoulos said in a prepared statement.

5. Merit Medical manufactures and markets disposable devices used in interventional, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the fields of cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care and endoscopy.

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