TAP settles charges of inflating Lupron priceTAP Pharmaceuticals reached a settlement with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (WDOJ) to pay $798,000 for fraudulent marketing practices, including the improper influencing of doctors to prescribe high-priced cancer drug, Lupron.
The money will be distributed by court order to 48 Wisconsin organizations engaged in the care and treatment of cancer or the promotion of improved health care for Wisconsin citizens.
The US Attorney General's Office previously recovered an additional $1.4 million from TAP on behalf of Wisconsin's Medicaid Program. Both settlements arise out of illegal and improper marketing and sales practices on the part of TAP to induce doctors to prescribe Lupron.
An investigation into TAP's marketing practices revealed that TAP inflated the "Average Wholesale Price" (AWP) for Lupron, the WDOJ said. In order to induce doctors to prescribe Lupron, TAP also deliberately and falsely overstated the average wholesale price of Lupron and provided free samples of Lupron to doctors with instructions to them regarding how to falsely bill Medicaid, Medicare and other third-party payers for the free samples, investigators said. TAP also sent doctors on lavish trips and junkets and paid them under-the-table discounts, rebates and bribes disguised as "educational grants" that the doctors could use for anything they wanted, investigators said. As a result of these activities, TAP and a number of corporate executives were indicted on criminal charges. TAP ultimately pleaded guilty and paid over $875 million in criminal fines, restitution and civil penalties.