DOJ accuses Regeneron of boosting sales through charity organization

June 24, 2020

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for charity payments it says helped boost the sales of its blockbuster eye medication, Eylea.

Under federal law, pharma companies are not allowed to help cover the cost of copays or deductibles for Medicare patients. Instead, drugmakers can contribute to third-party charitable organizations that offer financial assistance to Medicare patients — but the money is not supposed to be earmarked for that company’s drugs.   

According to the lawsuit, Regeneron paid the Chronic Disease Fund (CDF), now called Good Days, over $35 million in 2013 in 2014. The money was then used to subsidize copays for Eylea, which can be as high as $2,000 a year for Medicare patients. During that time, the lawsuit says that Medicare paid $1.9 billion for Eylea prescriptions.

CDF has already paid $2 million to settle similar allegations involving five other drugmakers, including Novartis.  

Regeneron said the lawsuit has no merit and vowed to defend itself.