A Biovail Corp. unit agreed to plead guilty and pay the Department of Justice $24.6 million to settle charges that it paid doctors to promote its products. This settlement is the latest one for Biovail. The company in December settled a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of fraud for $138 million. The agreement with the DOJ represents the fourth such action to be resolved in the past six months.
Bill Wells was named chief executive effective May 1st, replacing Douglas Squires who retained his position as chairman. Mr. Wells came into the role, pledging to clear up regulatory probes and lower costs. In February, Biovail disclosed that it was the target of a federal grand-jury investigation in connection with activities surrounding the 2003 commercial launch of Cardizem LA, a heart medication. The probe began after reports in The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s revealed Biovail was paying doctors up to $1,000 each to write prescriptions for Cardizem LA and to write reports on the drug. Biovail received subpoenas in July 2003 and October 2007 and according to media reports has been cooperating “fully” throughout the process.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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