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States Reach Settlement with Reckitt Over Allegations of Improper Marketing of Suboxone

On October 23, 2019, the New York Attorney General's Office announced that New York and other states have reached a civil settlement agreement with Reckitt Benckiser Group (Reckitt) to settle allegations that the pharmaceutical distributor improperly marketed and promoted Suboxone (approved opioid addiction treatment) resulting in improper expenditure of Medicaid funds. Reckitt agreed to pay $700 million to settle the allegations, including those it settled with the U.S. earlier this...

Texas Health and Human Services Commission Receives $1.6 Million Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Violations

Last week, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) imposed a $1.6 million civil money penalty against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), a state agency, after a 2015 breach notification report revealed a security vulnerability on the HHSC web-facing application for its Community Living Assistance and Support Services and Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities program. When transferring the internal application...

Two Non-Profit Patient Assistance Programs Pay $6 Million to Settle Anti-Kickback and False Claims Allegations

Two non-profit corporations organized for the purpose of establishing and administering patient assistance programs have agreed to pay $2 million and $4 million respectively to settle allegations of assisting pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay improper kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries. Chronic Disease Fund, Inc. (CDF) and Patient Access Network Foundation (PANF) obtained payments from manufacturers to operate patient assistance funds that assisted Medicare beneficiaries with copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles for prescription drugs....

Frier Levitt Successfully Defends Pharmacy Facing Change of Ownership Penalties by the State Board of Pharmacy

Recently, Frier Levitt successfully represented a pharmacy facing penalties, probation or suspension for failure to timely notify a state board of pharmacy of a change of ownership, among other allegations. With the matter was set for a hearing before the Board, Frier Levitt contacted the Board explaining that our client had recently gone through a merger and management changes and had just established a compliance department. In light of these...

Scrutiny by the Federal Government of Hospital-Physician Financial Relationships Continues Unabated

On November 15, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement in excess of $46 million with a number of California hospitals and affiliated medical practices. The basis for the action by the DOJ related to a variety of financial arrangements between the hospitals, and physicians and physician groups that are referral sources to the hospitals. DOJ alleged violations of both the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark) and the Federal...