Gilead Sciences (GILD) agreed to pay nearly $97 million to resolve allegations that donations it paid to a charity were actually kickbacks to Medicare patients used to cover out-of-pockets costs for its medicine used to treat a type of high blood pressure.

This is only the latest instance in which federal authorities have cracked down on such arrangements between drug makers and patient assistance charities.

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  • Don’t all of the pharma companies do this? Our oncology patients get foundation help for paying for their expensive oral medications and those foundations are sponsored by pharma. How is Gilead different that this?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for writing in. And yes, federal authorities have extracted settlements from numerous drug makers over the past year for the same alleged practices. Do a search on our site using the words ‘Medicare,’ ‘kickback’ and ‘foundation,’ and you’ll see what I mean.

      So in that way, Gilead isn’t any different than the others.

      All best
      ed at pharmalot

  • calling a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension a type of blood pressure medication is perhaps technically correct but IMO wildly misleading and uninformed

    • Hi TW,

      Thanks for the note.
      And yes, in the lead sentence, I opted for a quick description.

      The focus of the story was on the alleged practices. Many companies have been tagged by federal authorities for the same thing involving all sorts of drugs for all sorts of maladies.

      Nonetheless, yes, I could have added a line later explaining PAH in a little more detail. There was no attempt to mislead. The alleged violations were serious regardless of the illness involved.

      Hope this helps,
      ed at pharmalot

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