Cardiovascular Systems pays $8 million to settle whistleblower lawsuit.

Cardiovascular Systems has agreed to pay an $8 million settlement with the plaintiff in a False Claims Act lawsuit based on allegations from a former sales rep that the company ran kickbacks and an off-label marketing scheme to boost sales of its orbital artherectomy devices.

The lawsuit alleges CSI induced physicians to use its products by offering free, all-expense-paid training programs “followed by explicit demands by CSI employees that attendees use CSI products on future patients,” giving away product for free, 3rd-party referral channel marketing, and “sham Speaker Bureau payments for high-prescribers and others whom CSI sought to cultivate,” according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina. Thams worked for CSI as a district sales manager from 2012 to 2013, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also accused the company of running an off-label promotion scheme to push sales of its unapproved 4 French catheter. It alleges that CSI also promoted its devices for use in areas of the body it’s not approved for, such as the coronary arteries, and for conditions such as chronic total occlusion for which it is not approved.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers