Thursday, May 23, 2024


“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce


Novartis Pays $678 Million for Kickbacks to Doctors

doctor receiving cash

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. of East Hanover, New Jersey has agreed to pay $678 million to settle a civil fraud lawsuit in which the U.S. government accused the company of illegally providing doctors with cash payments and other gifts for prescribing their cardiovascular and diabetes drugs between 2002 and 2011.1

Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division said, “Through this settlement and others, the government has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that drug companies do not use kickbacks to influence the drugs prescribed by doctors or purchased by patients.” She added, “We will continue to safeguard the Medicare program from kickbacks and their pernicious effects, including the undermining of important cost-control mechanisms instituted by Congress.2

Novartis Gave Doctors Cash Payments, Gifts As Incentive to Prescribe Drugs

According to the Justice Department, Novartis hosted thousands of speaker programs and other events under the guise of providing educational content, when in fact the events served as nothing more than a means to provide financial incentives to physicians to prescribe Novartis drugs Lotrel, Valturna, Starlix, Tekturna, Tekturna HCT, Tekamlo, Diovan, Diovan HCT, Exforge, and Exforge HCT.3

The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits anyone from offering or paying, directly or indirectly, any remuneration, which includes money or anything of value to influence referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded programs. This prohibition extends not only to improper payments to doctors and other health care providers but also to the improper payment of patients’ copay obligations.4

Prosecutors said many of the speaker programs were nothing more than social events held at expensive restaurants with little or no talk about the Novartis drugs. Some of the speaker events did not even take place.5

Department of Justice Cracking Down on Pharma Kickbacks to Doctors

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York said in a statement:

Giving these cash payments and other lavish goodies interferes with the duty of doctors to choose the best treatment for their patients and increase drug costs for everyone,” She added, “This office will continue to be vigilant in cracking down on kickbacks, however they may be dressed up, throughout the pharmaceutical industry.6


9 Responses

    1. It is somewhat different situation with vaccines. As a doctor, you get paid for vaccinating by the full schedule regardless who made vaccines you give, and if you are missing some, you can get fired or black listed or you might have to explain why are you not performing well.

  1. Does the $678 million go to the government or do the recipients of the meds get a little compensation? Neither the government nor big pHARMa can be trusted.

  2. They are murders: doctors and owners of Drug Factories, as well as Medicare and Medicate, who pay them.

  3. So the drug companies do not pay for Doctors giving the full vaccine schedule but the insurance companies make the payments instead? That seems like an illegal way to insure compliance too. Do I have the correct information? This still influences the Doctors to make vaccines mandatory without the government or the Pharmaceutical companies being directly involved.

  4. Info I’ve found about kickbacks TO DOCTORS from insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield- “The average American pediatrician has 1546 patients, though some pediatricians see many more. Blue Cross Blue Shield pays pediatricians $400 per fully vaccinated child. If your pediatrician has just 100 fully-vaccinated patients turning 2 this year, that’s $40,000. Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays your doctor a $40,000 bonus for fully vaccinating 100 patients under the age of 2. If your doctor manages to fully vaccinate 200 patients, that bonus jumps to $80,000.”2
    However, there’s also a catch. Rules dictate that “pediatricians lose the whole bonus unless at least 63% of patients are fully vaccinated, and that includes the flu vaccine. So it’s not just $400 on your child’s head–it could be the whole bonus.” (This means that a parent’s decision not to vaccinate might be costing their doctor $40,000, or much more, depending on the size of their practice. Anyone else feel that a $40,000 bonus might NOT lend itself to honest education about vaccination from doctor to patient?)

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