Call Us: 1.800.873.5297


AstraZeneca Pays $7.9 Million for Alleged Violations of Anti-Kickback Laws

The Wall Street Journal reports that the drug manufacturer, AstraZeneca, will pay $7.9 million to the federal government over allegations that the manufacturer violated anti-kickback laws and attempted to defraud the federal, state, and local U.S. governments.

The drugmaker is accused of paying kickbacks to a large Pharmacy Benefits Manager in exchange for a guarantee that one of its bestselling drugs, Nexium® heartburn medication, be given best status on formularies for preferred coverage. The federal government further accused AstraZeneca of providing discounts to Medco Health Services (now Express Scripts) on other drugs, such as Prilosec® and Toprol®. According to court documents, these discounts caused false filings and fraudulent claims to be submitted under Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and other federally-funded government health care programs.

The allegations stemmed from a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2010 by two former AstraZeneca executive employees (Case No. 1:10-cv-00910). AstraZeneca’s Nexium® generated about $3.6 billion in revenue last year, which makes the settlement appear rather small.

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman commented that “[i]t is in the best interest of the company to resolve these matters and to move forward with our business . . . while avoiding the delay, uncertainty and expense of protracted litigation.” A spokesperson for Express Scripts declined to comment.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

Legal Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed as legal advice and does not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.
This web site is not intended to be advertising, and Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP does not desire to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this web site in a jurisdiction where this web site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that jurisdiction. Materials on this web site may only be reproduced in their entirety (without modification) for the individual reader's personal and/or educational use and must include this notice.

We will not disclose, sell, or rent any of your identifiable personal information to any third party, unless approved by you, or required by law.