Novartis To Make Its Medical Education Programs Virtual Under DOJ Settlement
Two settlements totaling $729m resolve kickback claims related to speaker programs and copay charities; Novartis will limit payments to healthcare professionals for providing medical education under a new corporate integrity agreement.
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Drug and medical device company payments to doctors and hospitals for non-research related activities dropped for the first time in 2020 since CMS’s Open Payments database began collecting the information.
Industry executives note lessons learned from ‘fascinating’ approaches DOJ and states have taken in recent settlements, from restrictions on Novartis speaker programs to targeting McKinsey’s marketing advice. Chart includes details of 18 settlements since January 2020.
Companies should consider alternatives to in-person physician presentations given the risk of kickback violations, OIG says. Concerns addressed in Novartis corporate integrity agreement are broader than that case, Chief Counsel to the Inspector General Greg Demske explains in an interview.