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Recent Aqua Pharmaceuticals Settlement Highlights Continued Focus on Speaker Programs and State Investigations

Last week, it was announced that the drugmaker formerly known as Aqua Pharmaceuticals, LLC (now Almirall, LLC) has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle kickback claims stemming from a qui tam whistleblower suit brought by a former sales representative. Among the allegations were that Aqua improperly provided meals, tickets, gift cards and speaking engagements to dermatologists in exchange for prescribing Aqua's products. While providing prescribers items of value (such...

New Jersey’s False Claims Act Suit Against Sackler Family Highlights Growing Trend of State-Level Enforcement, Even at an Individual Level

This week, the state of New Jersey joined the long list of States to file suit against the principle members of the Sackler Family, owners of Purdue Pharma. While Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family may have become poster children for greed in the face of the opioid epidemic, leading many states to commence politically-popular legal proceedings, this case demonstrates a growing trend of state attorneys' general offices bringing independent...

Pharmacy Update: Prime Therapeutics’ Unlawful Termination of Dispensing Physician Practices

In January of 2018, Prime Therapeutics announced that it would no longer accept any new Dispensing Physician practices into its pharmacy networks. "Grandfathered" Dispensing Physician practices that were already in Prime’s networks would remain unaffected. However, earlier this year, Prime altered its position and in addition to preventing new Dispensing Physician practices from entering into its networks, Prime began terminating a number of existing Dispensing Physician practices without any stated...

CLIENT ALERT: Medical Directorships the Subject of Anti-Kickback Scrutiny

A basic principle of health care law is that medical decision-making must be based on the best interests of the patient and not the economic interests of the provider. This principle is reflected the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) - which makes it a federal crime to offer, give, solicit or accept remuneration in exchange for the referral of health care services - and underlines investigations and prosecutions based on the AKS...