California Sues AbbVie Over Alleged Kickbacks for HUMIRA

In a complaint filed yesterday, the State of California sued AbbVie, Inc. based on an alleged kickback scheme in connection with AbbVie’s Humira® (adalimumab).  The complaint alleges that AbbVie violated the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) by providing kickbacks to health providers throughout California.  Specifically, AbbVie allegedly indirectly paid healthcare providers to prescribe Humira® by offering “classic” kickbacks such as cash, meals, drinks, gifts, trips, and patient referrals, and by sending registered nurses to provide home care services for patients who were prescribed Humira®.  This conduct, the complaint alleges, led healthcare providers to write far greater numbers of Humira® prescriptions than they would have otherwise written.  California seeks as damages three times the amount of each claim for compensation pursuant to contracts of insurance made for Humira®, civil penalties of $10,000 for each fraudulent claim presented to an insurance company, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs.