John Moore/Getty ImagesA drug used for treating pain and inflammation after eye-cataract surgery was being promoted by Ista, a unit of Bausch & Lomb, for non-approved uses related to laser eye surgery and glaucoma treatments, the U.S. said.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s $8.7-billion deal to buy U.S. eyecare giant Bausch & Lomb, announced Monday, comes just days after a unit of the latter pleaded guilty to using kickbacks and improper marketing to boost sales of a drug.
Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Bausch & Lomb Inc. that makes medicine to treat eye ailments, agreed to pay $33.5 million to resolve federal claims of misbranding and paying kickbacks related to the drug Xibrom.
The company on Friday also pleaded guilty to felony charges as part of the settlement, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. Irvine, California-based Ista was sued in 2007 and some documents were unsealed today by U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo, New York, according to court records.
Xibrom, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating pain and inflammation after eye-cataract surgery, was being promoted by Ista for non-approved uses related to laser eye surgery and glaucoma treatments, the U.S. said.
“In addition, ISTA pled guilty to a conspiracy to knowingly and willfully offering or paying remuneration to physicians in order to induce those physicians to prescribe Xibrom, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute,” according to the government’s statement.