Skip to Main Content

As federal authorities scrutinize relationships between drug makers and patient charities, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is the latest company to agree to settle allegations that donations amounted to kickbacks paid to Medicare patients as a way to cover their out-of-pocket costs.

In a recent regulatory filing, Alexion disclosed that it agreed last December to pay $13 million to resolve civil claims concerning payments made to Patient Services and the National Organization of Rare Disorders, which provide financial assistance to Medicare patients taking its medicines. The payments were made from 2010 through 2016.


During those years, Alexion marketed a pricey, rare disease drug called Soliris for treating paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH, a genetic disease that destroys red blood cells, and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, or aHUS, which is a progressive and life-threatening disease that affects the immune system. The medication has a $700,000 price tag.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!