Bayer to pay $40 million to settle US whistleblower claims on three drugs

The Bayer AG logo is painted in front of the historic headquarters of the German pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer in Leverkusen, Germany, on April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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Sept 2 (Reuters) – Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) has agreed to pay $40 million to settle claims for false statements related to kickback use and three prescription drugs, it said. the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

The settlement was brought in New Jersey in 2005 and 2006 by Laurie Simpson, a former Bayer employee who worked in marketing and accused the German company of violating the Federal False Claims Act. It arose out of a whistleblower lawsuit.

Bayer does not admit to wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement.

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In a statement, it said the agreement “reflects the company’s business decision that a resolution is preferable to continuing its already protracted litigation.”

Bayer pays kickbacks to doctors and hospitals to entice them to use Avelox, which treats bacterial strains, and Trasylol, which controls bleeding in heart surgery, and reimburses the drugs for off-label use when it is not reasonable or necessary. I was accused of selling.

He was also accused of downplaying the risks of Trasylol and the statin drug Bycol, which were withdrawn from the market for safety reasons, and overestimating the efficacy of Bycol.

Bayer’s actions allegedly led to the filing of false Medicare and Medicaid claims for Avelox and Trasylol and to the Department of Defense’s Combat Logistics Support Agency fraudulently renewing several contracts involving Baycol.

“Such conduct undermines the integrity of the federal health care program and puts patient safety at risk,” New Jersey U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said in a statement.

The Justice Department said Bayer will pay $38.9 million to the U.S. and $1.1 million to 20 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. for alleged violations of the law.

Simpson will receive $11.1 million from the settlement. Baycol’s case was moved to Minnesota in 2008.

The False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits and share in collections on behalf of the U.S. government.

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Reported by Jonathan Stempel, New York.Edited by Mark Porter

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