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A settlement has been reached between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Medtronic which involved claims that the company falsely encouraged the implantation of their devices.

The $23.5 million settlement involves federal investigation that dates back to 2005 and alleges payments were made to doctors that took part in post-market studies. Medtronic was essentially soliciting doctors with the intent of pushing them to leave the competitor while persuading Medtronic customers to stay.

Medtronic was in violation of the False Claims Act, alleged the DOJ. The medical device giant was accused of paying physicians $1,000 to $2,000 per patient to implant the company's pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators.

Over the past three years, the Justice Department has reached settlements with two other major medical devices makers — Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical Inc. — over similar kickback allegations.

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