United States Files Suit Against Drug Manufacturer Regeneron for Paying Kickbacks Through Co-Pay Foundation
(STL.News) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that the government has filed a civil False Claims Act complaint against drug manufacturer Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Regeneron), of Tarrytown, N.Y. The complaint alleges that Regeneron paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks for its macular degeneration drug Eylea, using a foundation as a conduit to cover co-pays for Eylea.
When a Medicare beneficiary obtains a prescription drug covered by Medicare Part B, the beneficiary may be required to make a partial payment, which can take the form of a deductible or co-insurance amount (collectively, co-pays). Congress included co-pay requirements in the Medicare program, in part, to encourage market forces to serve as a check on health care costs, including the prices that pharmaceutical manufacturers can demand for their drugs. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits pharmaceutical companies from offering or paying, directly or indirectly, any remuneration – which includes money or any other thing of value, including coverage of co-pays – to induce Medicare patients to purchase the companies’ drugs.
“According to the allegations in today’s complaint, Regeneron funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks through a third-party foundation to ensure that few Medicare patients paid a co-pay on Eylea and that physicians who prescribed and purchased the drug did not have to collect Medicare co-pays from their patients,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Regeneron allegedly paid these substantial sums only after