J&J to pay more than $2.2B for off-label marketing, kickbacks

Nov. 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve probes into allegations off-label marketing and kickbacks, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday.

The resolution is one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements in U.S. history and includes criminal fines and forfeiture totaling $485 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $1.72 billion, the Justice Department said in a release.

The criminal and civil investigations into Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries involved anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, and heart drug Natrecor, including promotion for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and kickbacks to physicians and to the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy provider, the Justice Department said.

"The conduct at issue in this case jeopardized the health and safety of patients and damaged the public trust," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "This multibillion-dollar resolution demonstrates the Justice Department's firm commitment to preventing and combating all forms of healthcare fraud. And it proves our determination to hold accountable any corporation that breaks the law and enriches its bottom line at the expense of the American people."

Besides the monetary punishment, the Justice Department will ensure non-monetary measures are in place "to facilitate change in corporate behavior and help ensure the playing field is level for all market participants," Associate Attorney General Tony West said.

The action will subject Johnson & Johnson to stringent requirements under a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, designed to increase accountability and transparency and prevent future fraud and abuse.

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