May 28 Medtronic Inc has agreed to pay
$9.9 million to the United States to settle claims it used
kickbacks to induce doctors to implant its pacemakers and
defibrillators in patients.
The U.S. Department of Justice had accused Medtronic of
inducing doctors to use its products by paying them to speak at
conferences, developing marketing and business plans at no cost,
and providing tickets to sports events.
"These sorts of improper financial incentives not only
undermine the integrity of medical decisions, they also waste
taxpayer funds and are unfair to competitors who are trying to
play by the rules," U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in Sacramento,
California, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Medtronic did not immediately respond to requests for
The whistleblower case resolved claims under the federal
False Claims Act against Minneapolis-based Medtronic, one of the
world's largest heart device makers.
It was originally brought by Adolfo Schroeder, who said he
was a business development manager who joined Medtronic in May
2006. Schroeder will receive about $1.73 million in the
settlement, the government said.
Medtronic reported net profit of about $3.07 billion for its
fiscal year ended April 25.
The case is U.S. ex rel Schroeder v. Medtronic Inc, U.S.
District Court, Eastern District of California, No. 09-00279.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom