Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement over Kickbacks Lawsuit

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Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement

Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement

Medtronic made a final payment of $362,000 in the $11.1 million settlement of a lawsuit alleging that the company used illegal kickbacks to influence doctors to use its cardiac rhythm products. According to Mass Device, the whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2009 by a former business development manager. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the whistleblower will receive approximately $1.7 million.

The lawsuit accused Medtronic of compensating physicians to speak at conferences and developing marking and business plans at no cost. The company even gave them free tickets to sporting events, restaurants and strip clubs, the suit alleges. The whistleblower is a former business development manager, according to Mass Device.

In 2012, Medtronic paid $844,800 to settle another portion of the case. The company agreed to pay $9.9 million in May to a settle another portion with prosecutors in California, according to the office of Eric Schneiderman, the U.S. Attorney General for New York.

According to a press release, the $362,362 will be split among Medicaid programs in 46 states and the District of Columbia. The final payment “concludes the investigation concerning Medtronic based on the allegations” brought by the whistleblower, the release says.

“Physicians should determine the best course of treatment for their patients based on sound medical judgment, not on any special treatment that they may receive from a manufacturer,” Schneiderman said in a prepared statement. “Such conduct puts patients at risk and unfairly impacts those companies that follow the law. My office will vigorously pursue health care companies that try to improperly influence health care professionals.”

Whistleblowers have played a crucial role in detecting fraud in recent years. Individuals who know of wrongdoing can file a lawsuit on behalf of the government, and are entitled to a portion of the recovered funds if the case is successful.