Enforcement Action Update: AbbVie Settles FCA Allegations, Pays $2.7 Million

March 30, 2023

By Porzio Life Sciences

According to a March 21, 2023 settlement agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, AbbVie Inc. has agreed to settle False Claims Act (FCA) allegations and will pay $2.7 million. The whistleblower suit, filed in 2015 by Lazaro Suarez accused the company of persuading medical providers to prescribe its drug Humira by using unlawful kickbacks. Humira is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicine intended to lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. The original lawsuit alleged FCA violations in 30 states, but a November 2020 ruling found that the whistleblower failed to provide evidence of nationwide fraud. The Florida allegations were allowed to move forward. According to the settlement agreement Suarez, who worked for an AbbVie subcontractor as a nurse ambassador, will receive $756,000 of the settlement.

In May 2022, an AbbVie investor also filed a lawsuit against the company with similar claims. Investor plaintiff Lynne Ranney alleged that AbbVie offered kickbacks to physicians and marketed Humira through a misleading "nurse ambassador" program. The lawsuit is ongoing.

For more information regarding government enforcement, please see the Government Prosecutions section of the Enforcement Actions Database.

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