(Adds animadversion from Johnson & Johnson and Bayer)
By Nate Raymond
BOSTON, June 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is acid whether a patient-assistance alms abominably gave a account to its biologic aggregation donors by abiding best of the money they donated as payments for drugs they make, cloister affidavit show.
The analysis focuses on Good Days, which operates a co-pay abetment affairs that it says back 2003 has provided added than $1 billion in abetment to patients to buy big-ticket drugs for abiding and terminal diseases.
The Texas-based charity, ahead accepted as Abiding Disease Fund Inc, has back February filed several lawsuits in federal courts in three states and the District of Columbia to annihilate summonses the IRS served on biologic companies that donated to it.
In cloister papers, the IRS said that in 2011, about 95 percent of the $129.3 actor in abetment the alms provided patients to awning co-pays was spent on drugs fabricated by the companies that had fabricated donations for specific diseases.
“In added words, the all-inclusive majority of funds that are ‘donated’ by a biologic architect are alternate to it in the anatomy of co-pay assistance,” Cathy Tai, an IRS agent, said in cloister papers.
The IRS beatific summonses to Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG’s Genentech unit, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer AG, Teva Biologic Industries Ltd and Biogen Inc gluttonous advice about donations to Good Days, cloister affidavit show.
Robert Zinkham, a advocate for Good Days, said it has been ability an IRS analysis for about four years. Good Days in cloister affidavit said it is “fully independent” from its donors.
Bayer and Novartis said they are allied with the IRS. Genentech said it acts in accordance with the law. J&J said it has no ascendancy over such charities. Added companies did not acknowledge to requests for comment.
Bloomberg aboriginal appear the IRS inquiry.
As biologic amount increases accept fatigued the ire of politicians and the healthcare industry, affair has developed that donations from biologic companies to patient-assistance groups may be accidental to amount inflation.
Drug companies are banned from subsidizing co-payments for patients enrolled in government healthcare programs like Medicare.
But they may accord to non-profits that accommodate co-pay abetment as continued as they are absolute from the companies.
Several drugmakers accept appear they accustomed subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts accompanying to their abutment for patient-assistance charities.
Zinkham said Good Days additionally accustomed a amendment but the delving appeared different to the IRS audit. (Editing by Matthew Lewis and Nick Zieminski)
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