December 20, 2019

Orlando Foundation Resolves FCA Allegations Involving Agreement with Pharma Companies to Pay Kickbacks to Medicare Patients

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts announced on November 20, 2019 that it settled FCA allegations with The Assistance Fund (TAF), an Orlando, Florida foundation. TAF agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations that it enabled certain pharmaceutical companies to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients who were taking the company's multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs.  The government alleged that TAF conspired with Teva, Biogen, and Novartis to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients by assuming co-pay obligations. Through this scheme, the government alleged the drug companies were able to ensure that Medicare patients did not consider the high costs the manufacturers charged for their drugs and minimized the possibility that the money donated to TAF by the drug companies would be used by patients taking MS drugs made by other, competing companies.  This is the third foundation that has settled allegations of kickbacks to patients made possible through coordinated donations with pharmaceutical companies designed to circumvent Medicare rules.