The AP reported that “heart device maker Boston Scientific will pay $22 million to resolve allegations its Guidant division paid kickbacks to doctors to get them to use its heart devices” according to US attorneys. The physicians received between $1,000 and $1,500 “each in 2003 and 2004 to participate in four studies, called RaCE, RaCE II, RaCE III, and MERITS,” the Justice Department said.
Bloomberg News reported that the studies were “designed to assess the performance of pacemakers and defibrillators, the US Department of Justice said…in a statement.” But, the company was really “paying doctors to select Guidant devices over competing products, the government said.” In a statement, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz wrote, “Although medical-device and pharmaceutical companies can use post-market studies legitimately to obtain information about how their products work in the field, they cannot use those studies, and the honoraria associated with them, to induce physicians to use their products.”
Dow Jones Newswire reported that in addition to paying the $22 million, Boston Scientific has also said it would adhere to a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.
From the American Association for Justice news release.