Biovail Guilty of Kickback Scheme, Fined $22 Million

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachussets has announced that Biovail Pharmacueticals, LLC, a unit of Canadian drug manufacturer Biovail Corporation, pled guilty to an illegal kickback scheme involving payments to thousands of physicians to induce them to prescribe Biovail’s hypertension drug Cardizem. Under the guise of a research program known as PLACE, physicians were paid up to $1,000 for filling out questionaires and “enrolling” and tracking patients. The payments were far outside the reasonable market value of the physicians’ time and services.

Biovail was sentenced to pay a $22.4 million criminal fine and also agreed to a $2.4 million civil penalty. Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks:

“This investigation demonstrates our continued commitment to aggressively investigate and prosecute attempts to subvert the independent decisionmaking of physicians who prescribe and recommend products reimbursed by federal health insurers. Such attempts not only drive up healthcare costs, they deprive patients of the untainted medical decisionmaking and trust they deserve.”

To report heatlhcare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.