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Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:00 AM

Heritage Pharmaceuticals Pays Over $7 Million to Resolve Civil False Claims Act Allegations

Company Also Enters into Deferred Prosecution Agreement for Role in Price-Fixing Scheme

PHILADELPHIA, PA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain today announced that generic drug manufacturer Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will pay over $7 million in a civil settlement to resolve allegations of a scheme to fix prices and allocate customers for several of its drugs. The civil resolution of these allegations in the Eastern District is a component of the company’s larger resolution with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division and Civil Division.

This over $7 million civil healthcare fraud settlement resolves False Claims Act allegations that Heritage paid and received remuneration from other drug manufacturers between 2012 and 2015, and engaged in a scheme to artificially inflate and fix prices on certain generic drugs. These drugs were supplied to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Defense’s TRICARE program beneficiaries, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs. The drugs allegedly implicated in this scheme address a wide variety of health conditions, and include hydralazine, used to treat high blood pressure, theophylline, used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, and glyburide, used to treat diabetes.

Separately, Heritage has entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ Antitrust Division with regard to a criminal charge that the company conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers, rigging bids, and fixing and maintaining prices in violation of the Sherman Act. The deferred prosecution agreement was also filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Under the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement, Heritage will pay a $250,000 monetary penalty and will avoid prosecution if it complies with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

“My Office is proud to announce this important civil healthcare fraud settlement with the Civil Division, and the deferred prosecution agreement with the Antitrust Division,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Price-fixing and market allocation in generic drugs will not be tolerated, especially when such actions artificially inflate prices and negatively impact federal healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid. This resolution with Heritage is an important milestone, and my Office will continue to investigate and pursue illegal conduct regarding generic drugs.”

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/heritage-pharmaceuticals-pays-over-7-million-resolve-civil-false-claims-act-allegations

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