The Canadian drugmaker says the US Attorney in Boston is investigating activities surrounding its 2003 launch of the blood pressure med, and both civil and criminal charges may result. At issue is a program called PLACE - Proving LA through Clinical Experience - that the drugmaker used to encourage docs to prescribe the pill. (LA refers to longer acting).
As the WSJ Health Blog reminds us, Biovail was happily payed docs up to $1,000 and gave office managers as much as $150 to persuade them to participate, a Biovail spokesman at the time explained that the program was supposed “generate physician survey data" that would be published. Nothing like money well spent.
"Biovail has cooperated fully with the investigation, and will continue to cooperate," Biovail says in a statement. "The corporation has been invited to provide evidence and arguments bearing on the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office and intends to do so as soon as practicable."