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Bayer Paid Kickbacks, Induced Medicare Fraud

WASHINGTON (CN) - Bayer HealthCare will pay $97.5 million plus interest to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to 11 diabetic supply companies in a "cash-for-patient" scheme, and caused those suppliers to submit false claims to Medicare, federal prosecutors said.

Bayer paid the suppliers to switch from competitors' products to Bayer's, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The products included self-testing blood glucose monitors.

Bayer paid one of the largest diabetic supply companies, Liberty Medical Supply, $2.5 million between 1998 and 2002, and disguised the kickbacks as advertising, prosecutors said. It paid $375,000 to 10 other suppliers, with the kickbacks based, like Liberty's, on how many patients they switched, prosecutors said.

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