UPDATE 2-Allergan unit to plead guilty to health care fraud, pay $125 mln
(Adds Reichel court appearance, comments, Allergan-Pfizer talks)
By Jonathan Stempel
Oct 29 (Reuters) - Warner Chilcott US Sales LLC, now part of Botox maker Allergan Plc, agreed to plead guilty to felony health care fraud and pay $125 million to resolve U.S. charges that it paid kickbacks to doctors to induce them to prescribe several of its drugs.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which announced the settlement, also said former Warner Chilcott President W. Carl Reichel was arrested on Thursday in Boston and charged with one count of conspiring to pay kickbacks.
At least four other people have pleaded guilty or been charged over Warner Chilcott's activities, the department said.
The settlement resolves charges that from 2009 to 2013, Warner Chilcott illegally marketed seven drugs, including Asacol to treat ulcerative colitis, and Actonel and Atelvia to treat post-menopausal osteoporosis.
Investigators said the improper activities included the making of payments or offering of perks such as expensive restaurant meals to persuade doctors to prescribe the drugs.
In the criminal part of the case, Warner Chilcott agreed to pay a $22.94 million fine and admit to paying kickbacks, improperly inducing insurers to pay for Atelvia prescriptions, and making unsubstantiated claims about Actonel.
The company also agreed to pay $102.06 million to the U.S. government and states to resolve civil charges that it caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs. Continuación...