A former Advanced BioHealing executive who admitted to federal charges that he bribed U.S. Veterans Affairs Dept. doctors to use the company’s DermaGraft biologic wound dressing last week drew probation in the case.
Federal had prosecutors accused Todd Clawson, who left the company in 2012, of participating in a scheme to bribe VA physicians to use the DermaGraft diabetic foot ulcer treatment with a series of inducements including paid trips to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Def Leppard concert tickets, a fishing trip in Wyoming and junkets to Las Vegas with an ocean fishing kayak, according to court documents. Clawson pleaded guilty in March 2016 to a single count of conspiracy to commit criminal conflicts of interest, bribery and healthcare fraud.
Judge Robert Lasnik of the U.S. District Court for Western Washington sentenced Clawson Feb. 9 to a three-year probation term and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine, according to court documents.
“I am sick over my actions,” Clawson told Lasnik, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, adding that Advanced BioHealth would have fired him if he refused to go along with the kickbacks program.
“Greed is an ugly, ugly emotion,” Clawson said, the newspaper reported.
A patent infringement lawsuit and a U.S. Justice Dept. probe followed, and by 2014, the Irish pharma giant had lost patience, dealing the company to erstwhile rival Organogenesis, for just $300 million. And early this year Shire agreed to cough up $350 million to settle the DoJ probe.