The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Genzyme Corp. has agreed to pay $22.28 million to settle false claims allegations that it used a “slurry” version of its Seprafilm adhesion barrier in patients. Seprafilm is used to reduce adhesions after surgery by forming a bio-resorbable barrier between abdominal tissue and organs. Genzyme Corp. sales representatives are alleged to have taught doctors and other staff to create a “slurry” from Seprafilm by cutting the Seprafilm sheets into small pieces, adding saline and allowing the pieces to dissolve into a mixture. The mixture was inserted into patients during laparoscopic surgery through a catheter. Seprafilm is only approved by the FDA for use during open abdominal surgery; therefore, use during laparoscopic surgery led to the submission of false and fraudulent claims to federal health care programs.
The settlement resolves two separate qui tam lawsuits filed against Genzyme Corp.
The DOJ press release related to the Genzyme Corp. settlement is available at:
Department of Justice. “Genzyme Corp. to Pay $22.28 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations Related to ‘Slurry’ Used in Patients.” Justice News. 20 Dec. 2013.