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Bristol-Myers Squibb Is Accused Of Fraud and Kickbacks
Regulators in California have turned their legal guns at the giant pharmaceutical company, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., accusing them of bribing a number of pharmacists and doctors to use its products.
California regulators allege that the pharmaceutical giant offers doctors and pharmacists thousands of cash kickbacks, gifts, as well as “happy hours” with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company was developed with the assistance of Lucius Allen, a former Lakers player, and his wife, Eve, who worked for Bristol-Myers and gave access to the basketball team.
According to the lawsuit, doctors and their family members were invited to Lakers Dream Camps arranged by the drug company.
The lawsuit alleged that doctors were treated to tickets, as well as luxury suites, for Lakers games. They also received balls, pointers, and autographs from some of the most famous players of the team.
The New York-based drug company vowed to fight the lawsuit. In a statement, it said, “Bristol-Myers Squibb believes this lawsuit has no merit and the company will defend itself vigorously.”
The California lawsuit was originally filed by Michael Wilson in March 2007. He used to be an employee of Bristol-Myers. It remained sealed until last week when a judge, who granted a request made by the state Department of Insurance, ordered to make the lawsuit public.
The lawsuit is the latest major legal action over fraud accusations against Bristol-Myers. Nearly 4 years ago, the drug company paid $515 million in settlement over allegations made by the federal government and other states that it used an illegal scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs.