Whistleblower: Sanofi, ex-CEO Viehbacher paid out $34M in kickback scheme
- Chris Viehbacher was fired as the CEO of Sanofi by its board in October, largely due to "poor communication" and weak sales of diabetes drugs in the U.S.
- A former Sanofi paralegal, Diane Ponte, is now suing the company for being forced out after she uncovered evidence of wrongdoing involving consultants, pharmacy groups, and hospitals. The suit alleges that tens of millions of dollars flowed to pharmacy groups and hospitals through consultants Accenture and Deloitte. It also alleges that a billion dollars is unaccounted for in Sanofi's books.
- Sanofi has had similar problems before. Two years ago, the company paid $109 million to settle a suit alleging that Sanofi had provided free syringes of its arthritis drug, Hyalgan, to doctors in en effort to persuade them to prescribe it.
There's a chance that Viehbacher's sudden exit may be connected to this latest scandal at Sanofi. Overall, it does not bode well.
Sanofi has yet to issue a formal statement on the lawsuit, asserting that the company doesn't comment on ongoing litigation. But Viehbacher and other top executives are named in the complaint, so stay tuned.