UPDATE 1-Spinal products maker Orthofix settles fraud case

WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Orthofix International NV has agreed to pay $30 million to settle allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to physicians, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.

The company, which makes products for spinal surgeries, used kickbacks like sham consulting agreements to persuade physicians to use the company's products, the department said.

The allegations related to an Orthofix subsidiary, Blackstone Medical Inc, that Orthofix acquired in 2006.

The company previously announced that it had funds set aside for a settlement with the U.S. government.

Orthofix Chief Executive Robert Vaters said in a statement he was very pleased and that the company has made significant improvement in its compliance practice.