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Biogen Agrees To Pay $900 Mln Over Kickback Allegations

Biogen Inc. (BIIB) agreed to pay $900 million to settle allegations that the company caused the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid by paying kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe Biogen drugs, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Monday.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed and litigated by former Biogen employee Michael Bawduniak against Biogen under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act, which permit a private party to file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery.

Biogen said in a separate press lease that it denied all allegations raised in the case. The U.S. and the states did not intervene in the case and the settlement does not include any admission of liability by Biogen.

Biogen determined that now was the right time to resolve the litigation and allow the company to remain focused on patients and strategic priorities.

In his lawsuit filed in the District of Massachusetts, Bawduniak alleged that Biogen paid kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe the company's multiple sclerosis drugs.

According to Bawduniak's complaint, from January 1, 2009, through March 18, 2014, Biogen offered and paid remuneration, including in the form of speaker honoraria, speaker training fees, consulting fees and meals, to health care professionals who spoke at or attended Biogen's speaker programs, speaker training meetings or consultant programs to induce them to prescribe the drugs Avonex, Tysabri and Tecfidera, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

As per the terms of the settlement, Biogen will pay about $843.81 million to the United States and $56.19 million to 15 states. Bawduniak will receive approximately 29.6% of the federal proceeds from the settlement.

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