Teva Sales and Marketing Inc, (a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals) agreed Dec. 28, 2019, to pay $54 million to resolve claims brought by two whistleblowers (the Relators) alleging that Teva engaged in certain marketing, promotional and sales practices to induce physicians to write prescriptions for Copaxone® and Azilect® by paying them as “speakers” or “consultants” in connection with “sham” speaker programs and events in which the physicians received fees and expensive meals. As a result, the Relators alleged that the physicians then prescribed the drugs and influenced other physicians to do the same, in violation of federal and state civil False Claims Acts and Anti-Kickback statutes.
The Relators filed a sealed qui tam complaint in 2013 against Teva on behalf of the U.S. and various state and municipal governments. After the government entities declined to intervene, the complaint was unsealed and filed as a matter of public record in 2015.
Terms of Settlement
Teva will pay approximately $50 million to the U.S. government and $3.7 million to the New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, to distribute to various states and municipalities.
Teva is not responsible for any payment of any share of the settlement that may be due to the Relators. Both the United States and the New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will make any Relator share payments from their portion of the settlement.
The settlement agreement was made without prejudice to the rights and claims of the United States, the states and the municipalities, and no release was provided to Teva in connection with the settlement agreement. The following claims of the government entities are specifically reserved and explicitly not released:
- Any liabilities arising under the Internal Revenue Code
- Any criminal liability
- Any administrative liability, including mandatory exclusion from federal health care programs
- Any liability to the government entities for any conduct, including conduct alleged in the matter