Corporate Compliance

Settlement: Drug company to pay $704 million

Compliance Monitor, October 19, 2005

A Swiss corporation has agreed to pay $704 million to settle charges that it illegally marketed an AIDS drug.

The settlement marks the the third-largest healthcare fraud recovery by the federal government.

Serono, S.A. with its U.S. subsidiaries Serono, Inc., Serono Holding, Inc., Serono Laboratories, Inc., and related entities have agreed to pay $704 million to resolve charges in connection with several illegal schemes to promote, market, and sell its drug, Serostim, used to treat AIDs wasting, a condition of profound involuntary weight loss in AIDS patients.

"Americans who need medical care depend on healthcare companies to have their medical devices and drugs thoroughly evaluated and approved before use," said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. "Serono abused the system of testing and approval, and put its desire to sell more drugs above the interest of patients."

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