August 20, 2020

DOJ Files Suit Against Teva Pharmaceuticals and Settles with Advanced Care Scripts in $300 Million Anti-Kickback Case

On August 18, the DOJ filed a complaint against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and Teva Neuroscience, Inc. (Teva) for submitting false claims to Medicare as part of a kickback scheme whereby it paid co-pays for its multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone. According to the DOJ, Teva used the Chronic Disease Fund and The Assistance Fund—supposed independent third-party patient assistance foundations—as “conduits,” paying both foundations more than $300 million to cover the Medicare co-payment obligations of Copaxone patients.

Advanced Care Scripts, Inc. (ACS) agreed on August 13 to pay 3.5 million to resolve allegations that ACS co-conspired with Teva to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients taking Copaxone. ACS relayed information to Teva from the two foundations so that Teva could calculate the payments to the foundations for the amount the foundations spent on Copaxone patients. ACS also gave updates to Teva regarding patients that were serviced by ACS, met the criteria for the foundation co-pay, or were awaiting the foundation co-pay coverage.  In violation of the federal Anti Kickback Statute, ACS knowingly enabled a large pharmaceutical manufacturer to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients taking its expensive drug.

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