The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG will pay $72.5 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of improperly billing government programs for unapproved uses of a cystic fibrosis drug. The settlement was announced by the government last month and the lawsuit filed by two former employees in 2006 was unsealed. The lawsuit alleged that biotechnology company Chiron Corp., which Switzerland-based Novartis acquired in 2006, billed for unapproved uses of its drug TOBI between 2001 and 2006. Under the settlement, the federal government will receive $35.68 million. Ten states — California, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York — will divide $29 million. The three whistleblowers will also receive $7.8 million from the settlement.
Source: Associated Press
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