The pharmaceutical company Celgene Corp. has agreed to pay $280 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it committed fraud promoting two cancer drugs for unapproved purposes.
The settlement with Celgene was announced Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles.
The lawsuit filed in federal court by a former sales manager alleged the New Jersey company submitted false claims to Medicare and healthcare programs in 28 U.S. states and Washington.
The lawsuit alleged Celgene used false and misleading statements and promoted Thalomid and Revlimid for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration or covered by public healthcare programs.
It also said the company paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the drugs.
The company denied wrongdoing and said it settled to avoid uncertainty, distraction and expensive litigation.