published on September 18, 2018 - 12:52 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — California has filed a lawsuit accusing pharmaceutical giant AbbVie of illegally plying doctors with cash, gifts and services to prescribe one of the world’s best-selling drugs.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says the kickbacks led doctors in the state to write more prescriptions for Humira despite its potentially deadly complications.

The injectable drug is widely advertised as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It comes with a warning for cancer and serious infections that can turn deadly.

AbbVie says the allegations are without merit.

The lawsuit by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says insurers paid more than $1.2 billion for Humira for California patients between 2013 and August 2018.

Jones’ office says that figure makes the lawsuit the largest health care fraud case in the state insurance department’s history.

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