The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have investigated and resolved numerous fraud cases involving allegations that remuneration offered and paid in connection with speaker programs violated the anti-kickback statute. The Federal government has pursued civil and criminal cases against companies and individual HCPs involving speaker programs. These cases alleged, for example, that drug and device companies:
- selected high-prescribing HCPs to be speakers and rewarded them with lucrative speaker deals (e.g., some HCPs received hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking);
- conditioned speaker remuneration on sales targets (e.g., required speaker HCPs to write a minimum number of prescriptions in order to receive the speaker honoraria);
- held speaker programs at entertainment venues or during recreational events or otherwise in a manner not conducive to an educational presentation (e.g., wineries, sports stadiums, fishing trips, golf clubs, and adult entertainment facilities);
- held programs at high-end restaurants where expensive meals and alcohol were served (e.g., in one case, the average food and alcohol cost per attendee was over $500); and
- invited an audience of HCP attendees who had previously attended the same program or HCPs’ friends, significant others, or family members who did not have a legitimate business reason to attend the program.