Dr. Gerald M. Sacks, a pain specialist with an office in Santa Monica, California, has paid $271,259.12 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act. The allegations concerned prescribing the medications Butrans, Hysingla and OxyContin to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange, at least in part, for receiving paid speaking and consulting work from their manufacturer, Purdue Pharma LP, and the medications Gralise, Lazanda and Nucynta to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange, at least in part, for receiving paid speaking and consulting work from their manufacturer, Depomed Inc.
Prescribing drugs in exchange for receiving paid speaking and consulting work from their manufacturers violates the Anti-Kickback Statute, and renders associated claims to federal health care programs false. Butrans, Hysingla, OxyContin, Lazanda and Nucynta are opioid medications for the treatment of pain. Gralise is a nerve-pain medication.
“Physicians are prohibited from accepting kickbacks designed to influence their decisionmaking,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael D. Granston of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Adherence to this prohibition is especially crucial with regard to dangerous drugs like opioids.”
The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The matter was handled by Trial Attorneys Albert P. Mayer and Kristen M. Murphy of the Civil Division.
The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.