US Bioservices to pay $13.4M to resolve kickback suit

US Bioservices Corp., a specialty pharmacy unit of AmerisourceBergen, agreed to pay $13.4 million to settle allegations that it pushed patients to refill prescriptions for Novartis AG's iron overload drug, Exjade, in exchange for kickbacks, according to Reuters.

The U.S. government claims US Bioservices encouraged patients to refill prescriptions for Exjade in exchange for referrals and higher rebates from the Swiss Pharmaceutical company. The lawsuit claims U.S. Bioservices had its nurses call patients with one-sided advice emphasizing the dangers of not treating increased iron levels and downplaying the risks of the drug.

The lawsuit further contends US Bioservices illegally billed government payers for prescriptions that stemmed from the kickback scheme.

US Bioservices competed for referrals from Novartis with two other specialty pharmacies; BioScrip and Accredo Health Group, which both recently settled kickback allegations by paying a total of $75 million.

US Bioservices' $13.4 million settlement must still be approved by the court. 

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