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Abbott Labs settles with U.S. over kickback claims
(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay the United States $5.48 million to resolve allegations that it paid improper kickbacks to induce doctors to use some of its products, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday. The settlement resolves allegations that Abbott paid well-known doctors for teaching assignments, speaking engagements and conferences, expecting that they would arrange for the hospitals with which they were affiliated to buy Abbott’s carotid, biliary and peripheral vascular products. Carotid and peripheral vascular products are implanted to treat circulatory disorders by increasing blood flow, while biliary products are implanted to treat obstructions in the bile ducts, the government said. “Patients have a right to treatment decisions that are based on their own medical needs, not the personal financial interests of their health care providers,” Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery of the Justice Department’s civil division said in a statement.