BOSTON (Reuters) – Three drugmakers will pay $122.6 million to resolve claims they used charities that help cover Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket drug costs as a way to pay kickbacks aimed at encouraging use of their medications, including some expensive ones.

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc, Lundbeck A/S and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc were the latest companies to settle claims stemming from an industry-wide probe of drugmakers’ financial support of patient assistance charities.

The government has alleged in earlier settlements that drugmakers used such charities as a means to improperly pay the copay obligations of Medicare patients using their drugs, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The investigation came amid growing attention to soaring U.S. drug prices. Copays are partly meant to