Emily Moore Sep. 30, 2014, 9:28am

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - A case brought by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, other states and the federal government alleging Medtronic Inc. paid kickbacks to persuade physicians to use their cardiac rhythm products was recently settled.

The settlement agreement resolves allegations that Medtronic violated the federal False Claims Act and other false claim statues by trying to coerce heath care practitioners to use their cardiac equipment by giving them gifts, travel expenses and entertainment. The equipment included pacemakers and defibrillators.

"Proper medical treatment should never be contingent upon illegal inducements to purchase or prescribe a particular device or medication," Gansler said. "While this recovery is limited, the principles behind it are important to Marylanders' health and well-being. Companies that scheme to violate those principles will pay the price regardless of its scope or size."

The National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units took part in the inquiry into the allegations and conducted the settlement negotiations on behalf of the state Medicaid programs.

Medtronic, a Minnesota based company, paid $9.6 million in civil damages in May. Approximately $362,362 will be paid to Medicaid programs, with $6,128.86 allocated to Maryland.

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