DePuy Synthes pays $9.75M to settle kickback allegations involving spine implants

Spinal Tech

DePuy Synthes, Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic company, is paying $9.75 million to resolve allegations that it gave an orthopedic surgeon free spinal implants that were used in overseas cases, the Justice Department said Jan. 20.

From at least July 2013 through February 2018, DePuy admitted to providing free spinal implants and tools to a Massachusetts orthopedic surgeon hoping they would use them in U.S. cases, according to a news release. The surgeon used the devices to perform surgeries overseas for patients who didn't have federal healthcare benefits.

A former sales representative for DePuy filed the original lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.

Of the total settlement, about $7.23 million will be returned to the federal government. The other $2.52 million will be returned to the state of Massachusetts, which jointly funded claims for the surgeries involving the devices.

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Medtech said in a Jan. 20 email to Becker's that the company has fully cooperated with the investigation and the settlement "avoids further lengthy legal processes."

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