Gilead to pay $97 million to settle U.S. kickback probe

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Gilead Sciences will pay about $97 million to resolve claims it used an allegedly independent charity to pay illegal kickbacks to cover Medicare patients' out-of-pocket costs for ambrisentin (Letairis), its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Gilead Sciences will pay about $97 million to resolve claims it used an allegedly independent charity to pay illegal kickbacks to cover Medicare patients' out-of-pocket costs for ambrisentin (Letairis), its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug. The settlement resolves allegations that Gilead improperly used the Caring Voice Coalition (CVC) to cover thousands of patients' co-payment obligations. According to DOJ, Gilead's actions enabled it to boost revenue and violated the federal False Claims Act. Gilead "effectively set up a proprietary fund within CVC to cover the co-pays of just its own drug," said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in Boston. Drugmakers cannot subsidize co-payments for older Americans enrolled in Medicare, but they may donate to independent nonprofit groups that provide such assistance. For its part, Gilead said it has addressed concerns raised by the government, and it does not believe it committed any wrongdoing.