U.S. Also Elects to Intervene Against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in Claims that Novartis Gave Kickbacks to Accredo in Exchange for Increased Refills of Exjade Drug, and Understated Exjade’s Serious and Potentially Life-Threatening Side Effects to Patients
Accredo Admits to Conduct Regarding Its Distribution of Exjade
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s New York Regional Office (“HHS-OIG”) announced yesterday a $60 million settlement of a civil fraud lawsuit against ACCREDO HEALTH GROUP (“ACCREDO”) concerning a kickback scheme with NOVARTIS Pharmaceuticals Corp. (“NOVARTIS”) involving the prescription drug Exjade. In addition to filing a Notice of Intervention against and Stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal with ACCREDO, the Government has elected to intervene against NOVARTIS over the same conduct previously filed by a whistleblower. As alleged in the lawsuit, NOVARTIS provided kickbacks, in the form of patient referrals and related benefits, to ACCREDO in exchange for ACCREDO’s recommending refills to Exjade patients. In connection with the scheme, the defendants understated the serious and potentially life-threatening side effects of Exjade when promoting the drug’s benefits to patients.