Drugmaker Mallinckrodt settles case on kickbacks to doctors

A drugmaker has agreed to pay $15.4 million to settle claims that it lavished doctors with dinners and entertainment to encourage them to keep prescribing a drug as its price ballooned.

Under an agreement announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice, Britain-based Mallinckrodt resolved kickback claims that were spelled out in a court filing earlier this year in Philadelphia. The claims pertain to actions from 2009 to 2013 by Questcor Pharmaceuticals, a company Mallinckrodt has since bought.

The government says the company raised the price of a roughly 5-dose vial of Acthar, used to treat conditions related to multiple sclerosis, lupus and other diseases, from $50 to $32,000 from 2001 through 2014.

The company directed reporters to its statement, which said it is glad to have the issue resolved.

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