Patients want access to quality physicians and medical products. Concerns are raised when a physician’s judgment about which drug or device to use on a patient is clouded by the amount of money or perks he or she receives for the recommendation. Olympus has landed itself in the middle of such a situation. In one situation, a doctor who played a major role in a New York medical center’s decisions to buy equipment received free use of $400,000 in equipment from Olympus for his private practice, the Justice Department said.
The totality of misconduct by U.S. Olympus Corp of the Americas and Olympus Latin America Inc unit helped obtain more than $600 million in sales and $230 million in gross profits, the Justice Department said. Olympus Corp of the Americas agreed to pay a $312.4 million criminal penalty and an additional $310.8 million to settle civil claims under U.S. and various state laws for filing false claims to obtain government money. The hospitals and physicians involved in facilitating the fraud are also likely to be evaluating criminal charges, pleas and settlements.