Teva sued by U.S. over alleged MS kickbacks

Aug. 18, 2020

The U.S. government has sued Teva Pharmaceutical, accusing the drugmaker of causing the submission of false claims to Medicare by using kickbacks to boost sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

In a complaint filed in Boston federal court, the Department of Justice said Teva illegally paid two independent charitable foundations more than $300 million from 2006 to 2015 to cover co-payments of Copaxone patients, shielding them from a quadrupling of Copaxone’s price to $73,326 a year. This move led to false claims and a hundreds of millions worth of revenue for Teva, bypassing a move meant to keep drug prices down.

The government is seeking triple damages for violations of the federal False Claims Act.

Teva said the lawsuit seeks to further restrict patients’ access to important medicines and healthcare.

According to the complaint, Teva referred Copaxone patients to the Florida-based specialty pharmacy Advanced Care Scripts, which then arranged co-payment coverage from the foundations, the Chronic Disease Fund and The Assistance Fund.

Read the Reuters report