Violation Tracker Individual Record

Company: 
Serono Laboratories Inc.
Current Parent Company: 
Merck KGaA (EMD)
Penalty: 
$44,300,000
Year: 
2011
Date: 
May 4, 2011
Offense Group: 
government-contracting-related offenses
Primary Offense: 
False Claims Act and related
Secondary Offense: 
kickbacks and bribery
Violation Description: 

Pharmaceutical manufacturers Serono Laboratories Inc., EMD Serono Inc., Merck Serono S.A, and Ares Trading S.A. agreed to pay $44.3 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations in connection with the marketing of the drug Rebif. The settlement resolved allegations that Serono paid health care providers from the launch of Rebif in January 2002 through December 2009 to induce them to promote or prescribe Rebif, a recombinant interferon injectable that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Serono was alleged to have made payments to providers for hundreds of speaker training meetings and programs, as well as payments for attending consultant, marketing and advisory board meetings, all at upscale resorts and other locations. Serono's actions allegedly resulted in the submission of false claims to federal health care programs including Medicare and Medicaid for the payment of Rebif, i.e., claims that were tainted by kickbacks.

Level of Government: 
federal
Action Type: 
agency action
Agency: 
Justice Department Civil Division
Civil or Criminal Case: 
civil
HQ Country of Parent: 
Germany
Ownership Structure of Parent: 
publicly traded
Major Industry of Parent: 
pharmaceuticals
Specific Industry of Parent: 
pharmaceuticals
Source Notes: 
If an online information source is not working, check the Violation Tracker Data Sources page for an updated link.
Parent company note: 
Parent-subsidiary relationship is current as of the most recent revision listed in the Update Log.