Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Synthes will pay $9.75million to settle U.S. Department of Justice allegations that DePuy provided free products to a Massachusetts surgeon who had used them in spinal surgery. surgeries in six Middle Eastern countries.
According to settlement papers, the surgeon used more than $100,000 of DePuy’s implants and instruments between July 2013 and Feb. 2018 in more than 20 surgeries in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Justice Department said DePuy provided the products to induce the surgeon to use its products in spinal surgeries he performed in Boston on patients who, unlike in the overseas surgeries, were covered by the government’s Medicare and Medicaid health programs.
This activity violated the federal False Claims Act and an anti-kickback law meant to ensure that doctors act in their patients’ best interests without being compromised by improper financial incentives, the Justice Department said.
The $9.75m payment includes a $4.33million penalty and $5.42million of restitution. Aleksej Gusekovs, a whistleblower, will be paid approximately $1.85 million. DePuy was credited by the Justice Department for his cooperation in the probe.
DePuy stated that the settlement will avoid long legal proceedings and that it was “committed to ensuring our employees conduct business in a way that complies with our credo and with all laws and regulations.”
Whistleblowers can sue the government under the False Claims Act and receive a share of any recoveries. DePuy’s headquarters are in Raynham (Massachusetts) and Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New York.
" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."