A lawsuit filed by the State of California alleges that the drug maker, AbbVie, induced physicians to over-prescribe Humira, a drug used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The alleged kickbacks included supplying nurses to go to the patients’ homes as an extension of the physicians’ practice to administer the medication and complete physician’s administrative paperwork. The suit alleges that the nurses, paid by and working for the drug company, looked out for the drug company’s interests, not those of the patients and benefited the physicians by taking care of administrative tasks that would have otherwise fallen to the doctor’s staff. While the allegation seems rather technical, the definition of a kickback is so broad as to encompass nearly any benefit given for health care business. Under federal law, it includes “any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind in return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service…” By Bernard M. Cassidy. Please contact at BMC@LUBELLROSEN.COM