Don’t Let a Pandemic Give You a Blind Eye to Big Pharma Crimes

This issue is about a month old but it is so egregious that it makes me cringe. We cannot CV19 be a smokescreen for other bad crap going on. Take this for example:

Sanofi agreed to pay nearly $12 million to settle allegations that the drugmaker funneled kickbacks through a charity to boost sales of its expensive multiple sclerosis drug. 

WTF? This crap is still going on. And only $12 million. That is nothing for these companies who cannot play by the rules. Are you kidding me? They made more money by going the illegal route.

It is the latest scheme involving drug manufacturers that allegedly paid patient co-pays for their own drugs through purportedly independent charities. Seven drugmakers paid more than $624 million in related settlements last year, the Justice Department said. 

A charity called The Assistance Fund helps pay for out-of-pocket costs for certain individuals, including Medicare patients who were prescribed Lemtrada, a drug made by Sanofi that can cost up to $100,000 a year. The Assistance Fund allegedly raised its maximum per-patient grant allocation to $20,000 specifically to accommodate Lemtrada patients.

Sanofi allegedly worked with a third-party reimbursement hub to orchestrate nine payments to the fund in 2015 and 2016 to predominantly cover the co-pays of Medicare patients who were taking Lemtrada. The drugmaker would allegedly schedule these payments when The Assistance Fund ran out of multiple sclerosis funding, and then referred as many Lemtrada patients as it could immediately after funds were replenished. This means MS patients who were not taking Lemtrada largely missed out, regulators said.

I continue to be amazed how low some of these companies can go. And who okayed this at Sanofi? I mean why isn’t this person fired? How do they sleep at night?

As part of the settlement, Sanofi agreed to a corporate integrity agreement with the HHS’ Office of Inspector General. Sanofi must prove that its associations with third-party patient assistance programs are legal, comply with reviews, and require compliance-related certifications from executives and board members. 

To summarize, Sanofi used a bogus charity to get more sales. It reminds me of the HUMAN FUND on Seinfeld. But it’s worse. Much, much worse.

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