Cardinal Health will pay $13.1 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to physicians to get them to purchase specialty drugs through Cardinal, the Justice Department announced Monday.
The Dublin, Ohio-based wholesale distributor allegedly gave doctors upfront cash discounts to use Cardinal for their pharmaceutical purchases, which violated the anti-kickback statutes, the DOJ said. Upfront rebates must be tied to specific purchases and should be clawed back if the buyer misses the quota, investigators warned, noting that Cardinal failed to follow those regulations.
"Cardinal Health thought it hit upon a surefire moneymaker by paying kickbacks to doctors, which cost health benefit programs millions of dollars in potentially fraudulent claims," Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston division, said in a news release.
Cardinal no longer offers term-based, upfront discounts, the company said in a statement.
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