Biovail to pay $25M in doc payoff claims

If only this were the last bit of old business Biovail needed to clear. In a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Canadian drugmaker agreed to pay almost $25 million to settle claims that it paid docs and their office managers to get patients onto its Cardizem heart drug. CEO Bill Wells sounded pleased about the deal, saying that it "eliminates the significant exposure to the corporation" and would "immediately reduce our ongoing legal expenses."

And what a bunch of legal expenses they've been. Biovail has been under investigation by various government watchdogs and plagued by an ongoing fight with its founder and ex-chief Eugene Melnyk (photo). Little by little, the company has been extricating itself from these legal snarls, but it's not finished yet: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company and several former and current execs with misleading investors and puffing up financial statements.

- see Biovail's release
- read the story at CNN Money
- check out the Pharmalot item