Sanofi must pay up to $109M for Hyalgan kickbacks

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Drugmakers Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LCC will pay up to $109 million in a settlement over an alleged scheme to provide doctors with free units of its knee-injection drug Hyalgan in return for purchase of the treatment.

The action, which was announced Dec. 19, also settled claims that the Paris-based company reported an average sales price (ASP) that omitted the free units of the arthritis-related pain reliever between 2005 and 2009. That led to government overpayment on drug reimbursement rates for Hyalgan and the competing Supartz.

The penalty is the result of information from former Sanofi sales representative Mark Giddarie. The Department of Justice said Giddarie will receive $18.5 million as his share of the settlement proceeds. Multiple states will also share in the federal government's recovery.

Bridgewater, N.J.-based Sanofi US issued a statement saying it “is pleased to have reached a resolution” in the matter.

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