Novartis, Merck Hit With RICO Suits Over Drug Copays

Law360, New York (July 6, 2012, 6:26 PM EDT) -- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Merck & Co. Inc. were targeted Friday in two Illinois racketeering class actions alleging the drugmakers interfered with health plan contracts by bribing participants with discounts that unlawfully made prescription plans pay higher prices for name-brand drugs.

Health and welfare benefit fund Allied Services Division Welfare Fund accused Merck and Novartis of running unlawful prescription copayment subsidy programs. They allegedly paid undisclosed kickbacks to privately insured individuals so that instead of less expensive alternatives, health plan members would choose Novartis branded drugs...
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