Teva to settle bribery lawsuit with $54 million payout
Israeli drug firm Teva has agreed to settle an ongoing lawsuit levying allegations of the company’s bribery of doctors, it has emerged, with the payment of $54 million.
The lawsuit, launched by former Teva sales representatives Charles Arnstein and Hossam Senousy, alleges that the company offered medical professionals with consultancy or speaker’s payments in order to convince them to prescribe its drugs in a bid to boost sales.
Specifically, this related to Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone and its Parkinson’s disease drug Azelict.
The allegations also claim that doctors were recruited to speak at scientific conferences by the company, a platform which they agreed to use to further advocate for Teva’s therapies.
In the ruling, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Colleen McMahon, pointed to the “substantial evidence that Teva did, in fact, track speakers’ prescription writing,” and “dozens of examples of sales representatives using speaker prescriptions to see whether the programmes were producing tangible results and to suggest working more closely with high volume prescribing speakers.”
“Teva has no real answer to this evidence,” she added.
James E Miller, who represented Arnstein and Senousy, said of the settlement: “We believe that this settlement will help to ensure that when a physician chooses a prescription drug for his or her patient, that choice will be motivated solely by the best interests of the patient and not tainted by any improper financial considerations. We were inspired by the level of our clients’ commitment to ensuring that Teva was held to account for its alleged misconduct. Today’s result is also a victory for the American taxpayers who are the ultimate victims when unscrupulous individuals and companies defraud the government, oftentimes with impunity.”
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