Novartis' secret settlement for kickbacks revealed accidentally

June 14, 2019

Confidential settlement talks between Novartis and the U.S. government over allegations that the company paid doctors to market drugs were revealed when a letter written to U.S. District Judge was accidentally filed in the court docket.

Federal prosecutors began investigating Novatis about six years ago, after whistleblowers raised allegations that the company had bribed doctors with extravagant meals and trips to boost prescriptions. As part of the lawsuit, prosecutors were planning to use nearly 80,000 incidents of alleged corruption as trial evidence. The suit also claims that Novartis scammed the government out of millions with fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing practices.

Last month, sources indicated that the company was trying to reach a massive settlement with the U.S. government. It now appears this was true.

According to Bloomberg, the letter confirmed that there is a "monetary aspect" of the settlement that has been submitted to the Justice Department for expedited approval. It also revealed that the drugmaker is negotiating a new and improved corporate integrity agreement with the inspector general for the Health and Human Services Department.