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AstraZeneca to Pay $7.9 Million for False Claims Act Violations

Jaclyn Jaeger | February 12, 2015

Drug maker AstraZeneca this week agreed to pay $7.9 million to the government to resolve allegations that it engaged in a kickback scheme in violation of the False Claims Act.

The settlement resolves allegations that AstraZeneca agreed to provide remuneration to Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager, in exchange for Medco maintaining Nexium’s “sole and exclusive” status on certain Medco formularies and through other marketing activities related to those Medco formularies. The United States alleged that AstraZeneca provided some or all of the remuneration to Medco through price concessions on several of its drugs other than Nexium, including Prilosec, Toprol XL, and Plendil.

The United States contended that this kickback arrangement between AstraZeneca and Medco violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and thereby caused the...

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