Pfizer gave more than $10 million to a charity for heart patients while dramatically increasing the price of one of its antiarrhythmic drugs, deflecting costs from patients and leaving Medicare with a bigger bill, the U.S. Justice Department said in a May 24 settlement statement.
The pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay $23.85 million to settle the kickback charges. According to Bloomberg, Pfizer said the settlement isn’t an admission of liability and none of its executives have been disciplined.
Pfizer raised the price of Tikosyn by 44 percent during the last three months of 2015, the same year it gave more than $10 million to the Patient Access Network Foundation. These charities are supposed to operate independently from industry donors, but the Justice Department said patients taking Tikosyn accounted for most of the beneficiaries in the first nine months after the fund opened.
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