Friday, May 4, 2007

Former Serono Executives Acquitted of Kickback Charges

Four former executives of biotech pharmaceutical manufacturer Serono S.A. were acquitted on charges that they sought to bribe doctors to prescribe the company's leading medicine, Serostim, as part of a program to pump up sales.  The four defendants were charged in a federal indictment in Boston in April 2005 with violating the anti-kickback statute for allegedly offering doctors an all-expense-paid trip to Cannes, France, for a medical conference in exchange for prescribing the human growth hormone that is used to treat AIDS-wasting.  According to an AP story (here), the jury was out less than three hours before it returned the not guilty verdicts on all counts, after a two-and-one-half week trial. (ph)

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