AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) agreed to pay $24 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the biopharmaceutical company committed wrongdoings in connection with its marketing practices of Humira, according to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
Humira is a prescription medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, uveitis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It was once a major sales driver for the biopharmaceutical company
AbbVie finally reached a settlement agreement with the California Insurance Commissioner and a whistleblower named Lazaro Suarez, who accused the biopharmaceutical company of paying kickbacks to doctors and using a network of “nurse ambassadors” to market and boost its sales of Humira.
Allegations against AbbVie
In the lawsuit, the State of California and Suarez alleged that AbbVie provided California doctors kickbacks in the form of cash payments, gifts, meals at fancy restaurants, trips, and other bribes to encourage them to prescribe Humira to their patients.