Two former Teva sales representatives told how doctors were paid to prescribe branded drugs Copaxone and Azilect.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) will pay $54 million to settle claims that the Israeli pharmaceutical company bribed doctors to write prescriptions for multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone and Parkinson's disease treatment Azilect.
The lawsuit against Teva was filed by two of the Israeli company's former sales representatives Charles Arnstein and Hossam Senousy. They claim that Teva would pay doctors to write prescriptions for its branded drugs in order to increase sales revenue. The former employees also charged that the payments were made as consultancy or speakers fees and that doctors would also appear at scientific conferences in order to recommend the branded treatments.
Teva's lawyers had asked for a summary judgement that was dismissed by the court 11 months ago.
Adv. Eric Young who represented the whistleblowers said, "This settlement helps ensure that when a physician chooses a prescription drug for his or her patient, that choice will be motivated solely by the best interests of the patient and not tainted by any improper financial considerations. We were inspired by the level of our clients' commitment to hold Teva accountable for its alleged misconduct. Today's result is also a victory for American taxpayers who are the ultimate victims when unscrupulous individuals and companies defraud the government, oftentimes with impunity."