Thanks to a False Claims Act case filed by whistleblower Dr. Cynthia Kirk, a former CareFusion vice president of regulatory affairs for the Infection Prevention Business Unit, the California-based medical technology company has agreed to pay $40.1 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act according to a DoJ press release. Dr. Kirk alleges that CareFusion paid $11.6 million to Dr. Charles Denham, co-chair of the Safe Practices Committee at the National Quality Forum, a non-profit organization that reviews, endorses and recommends standardized health care performance measures and practices, for the purpose of having Denham recommend the purchase of a product called ChloraPrep to health care providers. The FDA has approved ChloraPrep for the preparation of a patient’s skin prior to an injection or incision. Dr. Kirk further alleges that CareFusion promoted the sale of ChloraPrep for uses that were not approved by the FDA and made unsubstantiated representations about the appropriate use of ChloraPrep.
“When companies pay kickbacks to doctors, especially doctors involved in setting standards for the health care industry, they undermine the integrity of the health care system,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart Delery. “Corrupting the standard-setting process through kickbacks can affect the health care treatment choices that doctors and hospitals may make for patients.”
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