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Two patient assistance charities paid a total of $6 million to settle allegations of violating federal law by enabling drug makers to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients who took their medicines.

The Chronic Disease Foundation and the Patient Access Network Foundation provided financial assistance to Medicare beneficiaries who needed help with out-of-pocket costs. But by allegedly funneling money from the companies to patients, the charities ensured the beneficiaries did not have to consider the high cost of their drugs and also minimized the likelihood they would take rival medicines.

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