The U.S. Attorney in Boston on Wednesday charged a former regional sales director for Geneva, Switzerland-based Serono Laboratories with offering kickbacks to physicians.
In a 10-page criminal information, the government charged that Adam Stupak, 40, offered an all-expense paid trip to Cannes, France, to three New York physicians in exchange for increasing their prescriptions for Serono's recombinant human growth hormone, Serostim, used to treat AIDS wasting syndrome.
If the physicians wrote 30 prescriptions in one week, they could attend with a guest the third International Conference on Nutrition and HIV Infection in Cannes. According to the charging documents, Serono would pay for hotel, transportation and expenses, valued at between $5,000 and $10,000.
Medicaid pays for 75% of all Serostim prescriptions nationally and paid nearly $23.8 million in New York alone between 1996 and 1998, according to the criminal information. Stupak, who worked for Serono from 1996 to 2000 in New York and two others states, was charged with three counts of offering to pay illegal remunerations.
Serono, with U.S. headquarters are in Rockland, Mass., did not return Modern Healthcare phone calls seeking comment. Neither Serono nor the doctors, who were not named in the criminal information, have been charged.
U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Samantha Martin said the investigation is ongoing. If convicted, Stupak faces up to five years in prison and $75,000 in fines on each count.