Eli Lilly and Bayer dodge suits claiming they used nurses to push drugs

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A federal judge dismissed a pair of lawsuits against Eli Lilly and Bayer that accused the drugmakers of using nurses to illegally promote their drugs, according to STAT.

The lawsuits, filed by Health Choice Group in 2017, claimed the companies violated the anti-kickback law by hiring nurses to ensure prescriptions were continuously refilled. The suit also claimed the drugmakers bribed physicians with free insurance-processing assistance, medical practice management software and marketing assistance in exchange for prescribing their drugs.

The U.S. Justice Department argued the lawsuits should be dismissed largely because there wasn't enough evidence of the schemes to make the cases worthwhile to pursue with government funds. Additionally the Justice Department claimed Health Choice Group used false pretences to gather the information.

Health Choice Group argued the effort to dismiss the cases was arbitrary because the Justice Department didn't fully investigate its allegations or conduct a cost-benefit analysis.

U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III agreed with the Justice Department to dismiss the cases in a decision filed Sept. 27.

Health Choice Group had also filed lawsuits against several other drugmakers, including Amgen, Teva and Abbvie, but most have been voluntarily dismissed since the Eli Lilly and Bayer lawsuits were test cases, according to STAT.

Read the full article here.

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