We need to see vigorous prosecutions of corporations for any crime they commit! Good for the whistleblower here, who will get nearly $3.59 million.
Excerpts from the Article:
Incyte Corp. has agreed to pay the federal government $12.6 million to resolve allegations the company violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Wilmington-based Incyte allegedly used an independent foundation as a “conduit” to pay the copays of certain federal beneficiaries taking Incyte’s drug Jakafi between November 2011 and December 2014.
Jakafi was approved in 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat myleofibrosis, a rare type of bone marrow cancer. The medicine was later approved to treat polycythemia vera, another type of blood cancer, and acute graft-versus-host disease, a condition that sometimes occurs after transplants.
Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY) was the sole donor to a fund that opened in November 2011 to assist only myleofibrosis patients, according to the government. After the fund opened, the government alleges that Incyte used the fund to pay the copayments of federal beneficiaries taking Jakafi who were ineligible for assistance from the fund because they did not have myleofibrosis. The government further alleged Incyte’s actions caused false claims for Jakafi to be submitted to Medicare and Tricare, the health insurance program for military veterans and their dependents.
There have been no allegations in this case, nor evidence presented, to suggest that individuals with cancer who received financial assistance from the foundation did not need or benefit from treatment with Jakafi. This resolution simply reflects Incyte’s desire to put this matter behind it and to continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of individuals with serious life-threatening conditions, Incyte’s donations to non-profit foundations have served — and continue to serve — as a safety net for lower-income individuals living with potentially fatal blood cancers, regardless of whether they were prescribed Jakafi or another medication.
Incyte concluded it is the company’s policy to operate in full compliance with the laws, regulations, and applicable codes of conduct — and it remains committed to supporting charitable programs that strive to ensure that no patient is denied access to necessary medications due to financial obstacles.
The Justice Department said under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a pharmaceutical company is “prohibited from offering or paying, directly or indirectly, any remuneration — which includes money or any other thing of value — to induce federal beneficiaries to purchase a company’s drugs.” The prohibition extends to the payment of patients’ copay obligations.
The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Justin Dillon, a former compliance executive at Incyte. Dillon will receive about $3.59 million of the recovery.