Valeant pays $54 million to settle U.S. kickback, fraud claims

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From the REUTERS news item:

…Salix admitted and accepted responsibility for routinely paying doctors hundreds or thousands of dollars, or offering perks including lavish meals at restaurants such as Le Bernardin and Nobu, to attend some of its roughly 10,000 “speaker programs,” including many with little or no educational value.

One doctor from Rochester, New York allegedly received more than $200,000 for attending numerous events, including some where he was told not to do slide presentations and that dinner was the only gathering planned.

“Receipts from Salix’s speaker programs – which were approved by managers – evidence the existence of speaker programs that were quite clearly happy hours,” the government added.

The Justice Department said the kickback scheme worked, as many attendees began prescribing Salix products more often…

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