Teva pays $54m to settle claims it paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe its drugsBMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m53 (Published 08 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m53
- Owen Dyer
Three subsidiaries of the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, including Teva USA, will pay $54m (£41m; $48m) to settle a lawsuit launched by two former sales representatives who alleged that the company paid doctors kickbacks for prescribing the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and the Parkinson’s disease drug Azilect (rasagiline).
Charles Arnstein and Hossam Senousy alleged that from 2003 until 2014, when they left Teva’s employment, the company bribed doctors by paying honorariums for sham speaker programmes.
The rapid increases in sales of the two drugs in this period were “hardly a coincidence,” the two men alleged in their suit, and were the “direct result of a pervasive illegal kickback scheme.”1
Doctors were paid an average of over $2000 for each presentation they made in the speaker scheme.
The speaker programme itself replaced …