Stories

A health care settlement parade

Illustration of a gavel's shadow over a medical symbol
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There's still no settlement in the national opioids case, but plenty of other large health care cases have been laid to rest recently.

The bottom line: Allegations of wrongdoing are rampant in health care. For defendants, it's often easier — and in their interest — to settle and eat the result as a cost of doing business.

Driving the news: None of these companies admitted wrongdoing.

  • Allergan is shelling out $750 million to settle allegations that it used tactics to impede generic competitors to one of its Alzheimer's drugs.
  • 15 drug companies are paying a combined $248 million to resolve allegations they gamed the pricing system to inflate their payments from state Medicaid programs.
  • Sanford Health paid a $20 million settlement to kill a case that accused one of its neurosurgeons of performing unnecessary spine surgeries and profiting from the devices that were used.
  • Two disease-focused nonprofits paid a combined $6 million to clear allegations that pharmaceutical companies were using them as conduits to pay for patients' medications.

Go deeper: Two new articles in JAMA Internal Medicine here and here) highlight the problems with health care settlements — especially when important documents that could affect public health are unearthed but are kept secret.