Jazz, Lundbeck and Alexion settle with feds for $122M-plus over charity contributions
The federal government’s probe into pharma’s co-pay assistance charities has snared some of the biggest names in the business, and Thursday the Department of Justice said three drugmakers have inked settlements totaling $122.6 million. Jazz, Lundbeck and Alexion each struck deals with the DOJ—worth $57 million, $52.6 million and $13 million, respectively—to resolve allegations of using payments to charities as “conduits” to help Medicare and other patients afford their drugs. The companies previously disclosed the settlements in securities filings and releases. The settlements don't include admissions of liability, but Jazz and Lundbeck are entering five-year corporate integrity agreements as part of their deals. The DOJ says Jazz asked a patient foundation in 2011 to establish a fund to pay Medicare patients’ co-pays on narcolepsy med Xyrem. Jazz was the sole donor to the fund, the government says. Each company blocked Medicare patients from participating in their free drug programs. Instead, drugmakers referred patients to the charities, which helped pay co-pays and allowed patients to access the drugs in a way that generated sales, the government said.