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Norvartis to Pay $729M to Settle Kickback Charges

Novartis agreed to pay more than $729 million to settle U.S. government charges it paid illegal kickbacks to doctors and patients to boost drug sales, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

The Swiss drugmaker will pay $678 million to resolve claims it organized tens of thousands of sham educational events where it lavished doctors with exorbitant speaker fees, expensive dinners and alcohol to induce them to prescribe its cardiovascular and diabetes drugs more often.

It will also pay $51.25 million to resolve charges it funneled money through three charitable foundations to cover co-payments of Medicare patients so they would purchase its drugs.

Both settlements resolved civil charges that Novartis violated the federal False Claims Act.

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