Drug com­pany Acte­lion to pay $360M in kick­back probe

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS -

BOS­TON » A phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany has agreed to pay $360 mil­lion to re­solve al­le­ga­tions that it used a char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion to pay kick­backs to Medi­care pa­tients.

The U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Bos­ton an­nounced the set­tle­ment Thurs­day with Acte­lion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals US Inc., which was ac­quired last year by health care gi­ant John­son & John­son.

Fed­eral prose­cu­tors say South San Fran­cisco-based Acte­lion il­le­gally used a pur­port­edly in­de­pen­dent char­ity to cover the co­pay­ments of thou­sands of Medi­care pa­tients tak­ing its pul­monary ar­te­rial high blood pres­sure drugs.

Prose­cu­tors say that helped the com­pany con­vince pa­tients to buy its drugs when the prices it set would have oth­er­wise pre­vented them from do­ing so.

Acte­lion spokes­woman Car­o­line Pavis says in a state­ment that the com­pany is com­mit­ted to com­ply­ing with all laws and reg­u­la­tions.

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