The federal prosecutor said the pharmaceutical company spent more than $100 million on lavish meals, fishing junkets, golf outings, sporting events, and speaker fees to influence doctors to prescribe its drugs. The federal prosecutors in New York announced that the company admitted that it used an extensive kickback program for nearly a decade to influence doctors to prescribe certain medications, Novartis will pay $678 million to settle a fraud lawsuit.
The Government said that some high-prescribing doctors received tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for their work as Novartis often reimbursed the same group of doctors, colleagues, and friends who had dinners together repeatedly.
Most of the drugs prescribed by the doctors who received kickbacks have been used to treat high blood pressure and include Lotrel, Diovan, Exforge, Tekturna, Valturna, and Tekamlo, according to the settlement. The doctors who received the kickbacks also prescribed Starlix, which is used to treat Type 2 diabetes.
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