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Allergan subsidiary fined $125m for illegal marketing

Warner Chilcott toplead guilty with company’s president arrested
Allergan

Allergan subsidiary Warner Chilcott will plead guilty to healthcare fraud and settle a case of illegal marketing for $125m.

Warner Chilcott USA has been charged with making illegal kickbacks to doctors and the company's former president Carl Reichel, has been arrested in Boston on these charges, and faces a jail sentence along with at least two additional former employees.

Court documents also show there was a top-down policy at Warner Chilcott to encourage salespeople to push branded drugs to healthcare professionals and convince them more expensive drugs were medically necessary.

The medications involved in the claims are Asacol (mesalamine), Doryx (doxycycline hyclate), Enablex (darifenacin) for urinary incontinence, the hormone Estrace (estriadol) and the contraceptive Loestrin (ethinyl estradiol, norethindrone, ferrous fumarate).

One doctor involved is Rita Luthra, who appeared in court charged with receiving $23,500 in illegal kickback payments from Warner Chilcott and violating the patient privacy act.

The charges claim that doctors were hired as speakers on the company's behalf and paid substantial sums on the condition that prescription numbers stayed high. They were also treated specially at medical educational events that took place at expensive restaurants.

Warner Chilcott also admitted manipulating marketing claims for the osteoporosis drugs Atelvia (risedronate) and Actonel (risedronate sodium) so health insurance funded by federal health programs would authorise prescription payments.

Allergan is currently in early-stage discussions with Pfizer to combine the two companies. 

Article by
Nikhil Patel

4th November 2015

From: Regulatory

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