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A subsidiary of Biovail Corp. has pled guilty to bribing doctors to prescribe Cardizem, a blood pressure drug, after a plea agreement to pay $24.6 million in criminal and civil fines arising from conspiracy and kickback charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday, and was sentenced to pay a $22,243,590 criminal fine. Because some of the prescriptions were paid for by Medicaid, Biovail has agreed to pay an additional $2,404,286 plus interest in civil fines to resolve allegations that its conduct caused the submission of false claims to the United States.

Through a marketing effort called “proving LA through clinical experience,” or PLACE, Biovail paid thousands of doctors and other medical professionals as much as $1,000 apiece to prescribe or recommend Cardizem.

This shows how each person should be an advocate for their own health as large pharmaceutical companies continue to put profits over people.

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