Galena Biopharma will pay more than $7.55 million, DoJ saysStaff Writer | September 9, 2017
Galena Biopharma will pay more than $7.55 million to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that it paid kickbacks to doctors to induce them to prescribe its fentanyl-based drug Abstral, the Department of Justice announced.
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The United States also contends that Galena paid doctors to refer patients to the company’s RELIEF patient registry study, which was nominally designed to collect data on patient experiences with Abstral, but acted as a means to induce the doctors to prescribe Abstral.
Galena has not marketed any pharmaceutical drug since the end of 2015.
Two of the doctors who received remuneration from Galena were tried, convicted and later sentenced to prison in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama following a jury trial of, among other counts, offenses relating to their prescriptions of Abstral. Galena cooperated in that prosecution.
The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by relator Lynne Dougherty under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States and obtain a portion of the government’s recovery.
As part of today’s resolution, Ms. Dougherty will receive more than $1.2 million. The matter remains under seal as to allegations against entities other than Galena. ■