AbbVie’s signature drug Humira is used to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and psoriasis. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)
California’s insurance regulator has accused pharmaceutical giant AbbVie of using kickbacks and other illegal practices to boost sales of Humira, one of the best-selling prescription drugs in the world.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday sued the company in Alameda County, alleging that the company not only wooed doctors with improper gifts but also hired nurses that gave patients misinformation about Humira and kept complaints about the blockbuster drug from getting back to physicians.
Jones said those practices suggest that California health insurers may have paid claims for Humira for patients who should not have been prescribed the drug in the first place, causing harm to patients and raising insurance premiums for all ratepayers.