Georgia > Olens Reaches Settlement with Daiichi Sanko on Kickbacks

| March 21, 2015
AG Sam Olens  R-GA

AG Sam Olens R-GA

ATLANTA — Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens announced Thursday that Georgia has joined the federal government, 48 states and the District of Columbia to reach an agreement with the pharmaceutical manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo, a global pharmaceutical company with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey. The agreement settles allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by providing kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe the drugs Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor, and Welchol.

Daiichi Sankyo will pay the states and the federal government $39 million in civil damages and penalties. Georgia’s share of the settlement is $415,579.02, of which $162,015.12 will be returned directly to the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The investigation and ensuing settlement stemmed from a false claims action filed by a former Daiichi Sankyo sales representative in 2010. The whistleblower alleged that between 2004 and 2011, physicians who participated in or claimed to participate in promotional speaker programs received honoraria payments, lavish meals and other remuneration as kickbacks for prescribing the drugs.

“Bribing physicians to prescribe certain drugs is extremely troubling,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “Medical decisions should be based on the best interests of the patient rather than profit.”

The settlement agreement reimburses the federal government and the participating states for damages that were assessed in accordance with the amounts that Daiichi Sankyo expended on each speaker program for each fiscal year.

Additionally, as part of the settlement, Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, which obligates Daiichi Sankyo to undertake substantial internal compliance reforms for the next five years.

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