Daiichi Sankyo, DOJ reach $39 million settlement in kickback suit
- From 2004 to 2011, Daiichi Sankyo paid kickbacks to doctors in the form of speaking fees at dinner programs and other events that were clearly excessive. They were caught red-handed when a whistleblower reported the behavior
- Allegedly, Daiichi paid kickbacks to get physicians to prescribe certain drugs from its cardiovascular (CVD) franchise, including drugs such as Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor, and Welchol.
- Daiichi has been ordered to pay $39 million to U.S. government's state Medicaid programs to settle the claim.
The behavior cited in the lawsuit, which was brought against Daiichi by former sales rep Kathy Fragoules, harkens back to an era of excess in the pharmaceutical industry that reached its peak in the 1990s when doctors were courted with food, money, lavish accommodations, and high-end leisure events—with the company footing the bill and the unspoken expectations that doctors would prescribe certain medications.
Those days, however, are gone, especially since the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. For its part, Daiichi has pledged to make internal reforms and remain focused on their core mission of "helping people live healthy and meaningful lives," according to a report from Reuters.