Pacemaker And Defibrillator Manufacturer Agrees To Pay Government $22 Million To Settle Lawsuit Alleging It Paid Kickbacks To Physicians

On December 23, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had reached an agreement with Boston Scientific Corporation in which the company would agree to pay the Government $22 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that its subsidiary, Guidant Corporation, paid kickbacks to physicians through post-market studies to induce physicians to implant Guidant pacemakers and defibrillators.  Post-market studies are intended to assess the performance of a medical device after it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The lawsuit alleges that Guidant paid physicians who favored pacemakers and defibrillators manufactured by the company’s competitors between $1,000 and $1,500 to participate in the post-market studies, which involved implanting a number of Guidant pacemakers and defibrillators, in order to entice these doctors to switch to Guidant devices.  As part of the settlement, Boston Scientific has also agreed to enter into a corporate integrity agreement which, among other things, requires the company to publicly disclose on its website payments to physicians.

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