Allergan settles legal case with whistleblowers

Drs Herbert Neyvas and Anita Neyvas- Wallace – a father-daughter team from a Philadelphia-based clinic – alleged Allergan had offered services including practice-group managent advice, human resources assistance, and ongoing education in return for doctors pushing sales of eyecare drugs Restasis and Acular LS. The pair also alleged that the company had provided paid speaking engagents and free business consulting as an inducent for doctors to prescribe its medication.According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the effort to induce the plaintiffs to prescribe Allergan drugs began in 2009, when they received an invitation to attend a ‘Dry-Eye Dinner’. At the dinner, Allergan representatives outlined a number of strategies for treating patients with dry eye and how the business could help th market their practices.It is alleged at a meeting between Allergan representative Bob Teale and the plaintiffs later in the year, Teale offered the services of Allergan’s business advisory group, on the proviso that they “show their appreciation” by prescribing Allergan products. On a separate occasion, Neyvas-Wallace alleges that another representative offered to enrol her in the company’s paid speakers’ bureau, but said she would need to be a “really good writer of prescriptions.”The action against Allergan was brought under the federal False Claims Act and a variety of state statutes, which allow US citizens to sue on behalf of the government when they have information showing that taxpayers had been defrauded. As a result, the physicians are eligible to receive up to 30% of the payout, with the rest to be spread amongst the Federal Government and 19 other states involved in the action.Allergan declined to comment following the settlent.

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