Detecting the “Sham” in Speaker Programs
In late March 2016, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NPC) and the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of New York (collectively, "Government") corresponded with the presiding U.S. District Judge about an alleged "nationwide kickback scheme, spanning 10 years, to induce doctors to write prescriptions."
It is alleged by the Government that NPC routinely conducted "promotional events that had little to no educational value," "frequently providing lavish meals," allowing the "same doctors attend the same events over and over again" and other related allegations. From these correspondences, the Government has delineated nine factual bases for determining whether a speaker program is a "sham" and a potential violation of the Anti-Kickback Statue (AKS) and False Claims Act (FCA).
We thought it would be significant if the publicly available Open Payments data can be employed, using the same factual basis as the Government has stated, to detect potential "sham" speaker programs.