AstraZeneca fined $355 million as U.S. cracks down on medicare fraud.In the federal government's latest effort to crack down on Medicare fraud Medicare fraud Medifraud Medical practice Any unlawful act which results in the inappropriate billing of Medicare for services by a health care provider–eg, physicians, hospitals and affiliated providers. See Medicare. , pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $355 million in criminal and civil fines after pleading Asking a court to grant relief. The formal presentation of claims and defenses by parties to a lawsuit. The specific papers by which the allegations of parties to a lawsuit are presented in proper form; specifically the complaint of a plaintiff and the answer of a defendant plus any guilty to encouraging physicians to illegally request Medicare reimbursements.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware prosecuted for the government, alleging that from 1993 to 1996 the company induced doctors to bill Medicare for reimbursement Reimbursement
Payment made to someone for out-of-pocket expenses has incurred. for the cancer drug Zoladex, even though they actually received it for free from AstraZeneca.
In a plea agreement, AstraZeneca also settled, without admitting liability, civil claims that it bribed doctors to buy Zoladex and for improperly im·prop·er
1. Not suited to circumstances or needs; unsuitable: improper shoes for a hike; improper medical treatment.
2. setting and reporting its price.
The government had charged that AstraZeneca provided illegal remuneration REMUNERATION. Reward; recompense; salary. Dig. 17, 1, 7. to doctors who agreed to purchase Zolodex, offering enticements in the form of educational grants, business assistance grants and services, travel, entertainment and consulting services Noun 1. consulting service - service provided by a professional advisor (e.g., a lawyer or doctor or CPA etc.)
service - work done by one person or group that benefits another; "budget separately for goods and services" .
AstraZeneca's criminal conduct caused losses of $39.9 million to Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded insurance programs, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the U.S. Department of Justice.
As part of the plea agreement, the company will pay a $63.9 million criminal fine, which will go to the Department of Justice's Crime Victims Fund.
The lion's share of the fine, more than $266 million, will go toward settling civil charges alleging that the company filed false claims to Medicare and government health care plans. Another $24.9 million will be paid to the government and individual states for failing to provide accurate best-price data to Medicaid.
AstraZeneca officials declined comment on the settlement.
In a prepared statement, Department of Justice Associate Attorney General Robert D. McCallum, Jr. said the prosecution "demonstrates our resolve to protect federal health insurance programs when they are abused to enrich drug companies and doctors."
The government has since begun a probe into pharmaceutical reimbursements and rebates under Medicaid. In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to more than two dozen drug makers and three drug wholesalers asking for them to produce documents and answer questions about sales, revenue, drug prices, rebates to Medicaid programs, price spreads, price calculation methods and largest buyers.