The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. arm of Swiss firm Novartis alleging a kickback scheme using rebates and discounts to pharmacies to switch transplant patients to the company's Myfortic immunosuppressant treatment. By hiding these arrangements, "Novartis caused the public to pay tens of millions of dollars for kickback-tainted drugs that were dispensed by pharmacists" in partnership with the drugmaker, said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Novartis is already subject to a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement to resolve charges of improperly promoting its Trileptal epilepsy drug and several other medications. A representative for Novartis says it plans to dispute the new charges.
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