Between 2000 and 2002, Genentech encouraged oncologists and other physicians to bill the healthcare programs for various off-label uses. In exchange for their cooperation, Genentech paid some of the doctors up to tens of thousands of dollars each to serve as speakers before other physicians about off-label usage, according to the lawsuit (read here).
Some doctors were also hand-picked by the sales and marketing team - not medical or science liaisons - for advisory boards and attend ‘medical education seminars’ at luxurious locations. The drugmakers also what were called ‘Selling Skills Workshops’ for sales managers and reps, and actively trained them to avoid detection by the FDA.
At the time that former sales manager John Underwood filed his lawsuit, he contended that as much as 70 percent of Rituxan sales were generated by off-label usage. As part of the settlement, which was first reported by Drug Industry Daily, he will receive $5.7 million (here is the settlement). The US Department of Justice, by the way, had declined to intervene, or join, the lawsuit.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Roche Pays $20M To Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit // Pharmalot