U.S. sues Novartis, alleging kickbacks to pharmacies

April 23, 2013 9:49 PM

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U.S. sues Novartis, alleging kickbacks to pharmacies

(Reuters) - The U.S. government filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Novartis AG on Tuesday, accusing a unit of the Swiss drug maker of causing the Medicare and Medicaid programs to pay tens of millions of dollars in reimbursements based on fraudulent, kickback-tainted claims.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp had since 2005 induced at least 20 pharmacies to switch thousands of kidney transplant patients to its immunosuppressant drug Myfortic from competitors' drugs, in exchange for kickbacks disguised as rebates and discounts.

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