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What We’re Reading: Biogen Agrees to Settlement; Fertility Preservation for Patients With Cancer; Supreme Court Medicaid Case


Biogen Inc agreed to pay $900 million to settle allegations about improper physician payments; the American Cancer Society warns that fertility preservation for patients with cancer is at risk after the overturn of Roe v Wade; the Supreme Court will hear a case about Medicaid recipients’ ability to sue their providers.

Biogen Agrees to Payout to Settle Kickback Allegations

Biogen Inc has agreed to pay $900 million to resolve allegations that it caused the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid through kickback payments to physicians for prescribing Biogen drugs. This payment resolves a lawsuit that was filed by a former Biogen employee under the False Claims Act. The lawsuit alleged that Biogen paid physicians kickbacks to entice them to prescribe Biogen’s drugs for multiple sclerosis from January 1, 2009, to March 18, 2014. Biogen will be paying the United States government $843,805,187 and 15 states will receive $56,194,813.

American Cancer Society Expresses Concern About Fertility Preservation

The American Cancer Society warned that fertility preservation options for patients with cancer could be at risk in a post–Roe v Wade world. Gene testing and storage and disposal of embryos could be areas where restrictions are imposed in the future, according to the American Cancer Society. Researchers found that of more than 120,000 patients aged 15 to 44 years who were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, 68% of them needed fertility preservation services. Of those, there were 32,000 patients who lived in the 22 states where abortion bans exist or are expected to be passed.

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Ability to Sue Medicaid Providers

The Supreme Court plans to hear a case on Medicaid recipients’ ability to sue providers, which could potentially open the door to further rollback of the program’s benefits. The decision will determine whether tens of millions of beneficiaries of public welfare programs can sue their providers if their essential needs like health care and food are at risk, which would be more efficient than waiting on the federal government. Conservative judges and lawyers have argued that health care providers or individuals should not be able to sue in cases of Medicaid coverage. Arguments in the current case, Health and Hospital Corp v Talevski, are set to start on November 8.

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