Allergan Hit with False Claims, Kickback Charges Over Eye Care Drugs

Allergan Inc. paid kickbacks to induce prescriptions of the pharmaceutical company’s eye care drugs.

That’s according to a False Claims Act lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia.

The complaint was filed by Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, and Goldberg Kohn Ltd. on behalf of two Philadelphia-area ophthalmologists — Herbert Nevyas and Anita Nevyas-Wallace.

The lawsuit alleges that Allergan provided illegal inducements to eye care professionals, including business consulting services through its team of Eye Care Business Advisors.

Allergan explicitly requested that in exchange for those benefits, eye doctors and optometrists prescribe Allergan’s drugs.

The lawsuit alleges that Allergan touted that its free consulting services would boost the profitability of eye care professionals’ practices by, among other things, advising practices on how to target patients with “dry eye” and prescribe Allergan’s blockbuster drug Restasis, as opposed to significantly less expensive treatment alternatives.

The lawsuit alleges that Eye Care Business Advisors were part of an array of valuable services that Allergan provided to eye care professionals in order to persuade them to prescribe a host of eye care products.

These products were paid for by the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs.

“Patients deserve to know that their medical professional is making decisions based on their best interests and not because a drug company is offering incentives to steer patients to specific drugs,” said Pietragallo Gordon attorney Marc S. Raspanti.

“It is rare for successful, well-respected physicians to blow the whistle on the health care industry,” said Raspanti’s partner, Michael Morse.

 

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