California Sues AbbVie for Alleged Humira Kickback Scheme


TrialSite News include link to the actual lawsuit. The California Department of Insurance sued AbbVie last month for allegedly orchestrating a wide ranging kickback scheme to illegally boost prescriptions of its best-selling Humira drug. Filed in Alameda County Superior Court in September, the plaintiff’s accuse defendant of illegally offering cash, meals, trips, drinks and patient referrals to physicians to entice them to fill more prescriptions. Moreover, plaintiffs position that AbbVie leveraged a network of nurse ambassadors to verify that prescriptions were continuously refilled. Apparently if the allegation is in fact correct, such nurses visited the homes of patients not to actually help administer the drug but actually to ensure the prescriptions were refilled as well as downplay considerable potential risks of the powerful immunosuppressant.
According to the filing, approximately 274,000 Humira prescription claims were submitted to insurers from 2013 to 2018 equaling $1.2 billion in costs to health insurers. If the plaintiff’s allegations are true this would represent the largest health insurance fraud case in California Insurance Department history.