Celgene to pay $280M to settle whistle-blower case over cancer drugs

Celgene, a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Summit, N.J., has agreed to pay $280 million to resolve allegations it promoted two cancer treatment drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Department of Justice.

The allegations against Celgene were originally brought under the qui tam, or whistle-blower, provisions of the False Claims Act. The lawsuit alleged the company violated the federal False Claims Act as well as the laws of 28 states and the District of Columbia by submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid programs for the cancer drugs it promoted for off-label uses.

The whistle-blower claimed Celgene promoted the two drugs — Thalomid and Revlimid — using false and misleading statements and paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for prescribing the drugs, according to the DOJ. 

Under the settlement, Celgene will pay $259.3 million to the federal government and an additional $20.7 million to 28 states and the District of Columbia.

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