Court says that fraudsters who violate rules they later claim are unclear may not violate the False Claims Act
Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court for Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin decided U.S. ex rel. Yarberry v. Supervalu, an important decision that may lead more unscrupulous government contractors to help themselves to public funds to which they are not entitled. Unless the Supreme Court or Congress steps in to correct the Seventh Circuit’s errors, the government may have...
FDA’s Approval of Alzheimer’s Drug Highlights Need for Whistleblowers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to protect American consumers from unscrupulous private actors—charlatans, snake-oil salesmen, and the like—seeking to profit by selling unproven medical “cures,” treatments, and devices to the public. Emerging during the era of the robber barons as part of Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to “civilize capitalism,” the FDA has prevented untold harm to...
Book Review: “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty,” by Patrick Radden Keefe
Last October, Purdue Pharma, the inventor, manufacturer, and marketer of Oxycontin, the drug at the center of the opioid crisis, reached a massive healthcare fraud settlement with the Department of Justice. The Department advertised the settlement as an $8.3 billion dollar recovery, which would make it one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements in history. In his book Empire of Pain, Patrick Radden Keefe explores...
DOJ Lowers The Boom On COVID-19 Healthcare Scams, Again
Hey, fraudsters, did you hear? There was a global pandemic, so the government pumped trillions of dollars into the economy. Probably a good time to get a piece of the cut, you ask? They’ll never find out, right? So many ways to grift!
Well, not so much. From the start, the cops on the beat, led by the United States Department of Justice, have screamed from the rooftops: “Don’t do it. We WILL...
Catch of the Week: Another Pharma Company, Incyte, Settles FCA Claims For Kickbacks to a Charitable Foundation
The Department of Justice announced this week that Incyte Corporation, a Delaware pharmaceutical company, has agreed to pay $12.6 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to a charitable foundation to increase prescriptions for the drug Jakafi, which is used to treat myelofibrosis, a form of leukemia that causes extensive scarring in bone marrow and leads to severe...
Catch of the Week: Dozens of Fraudsters Sentenced in Multimillion Dollar Compounding Pharmacy Fraud
On Thursday, an Alabama District Court Judge sentenced dozens of defendants to prison for participating in a massive conspiracy to swindle insurers for medically unnecessary compound drugs. The defendants included company executives and managers, a prescriber, billers, and sales representatives associated with Northside Pharmacy, which was doing business as Global Compounding Pharmacy (Global).
According to the DOJ...
Bristol-Myers Squibb Settlement Highlights a Common-Sense Law: The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program
Drug prices are out of control. They now account for roughly 10% of our healthcare spending and America’s per capita outlay has nearly doubled over the past two decades. For the least fortunate among us, many of these medications have become out of reach altogether. While new proposals are regularly made, one approach that often gets overlooked is simply enforcing the laws already on the books.
That is just...
March Madness: AstraZeneca Fudges the Clinical Trial Results for Its COVID-19 Vaccine
In case you haven’t been following the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (or even if you have), you might be surprised to learn that the University of Hartford is poised to win it all this year—except for the fact that it lost in the first round of the tournament to Baylor University, 79-55, and has been eliminated from the competition.
Likewise, in case you haven’t been following the results of COVID-19...
The False Claims Act: It Benefits More than Just the Government
The False Claims Act, a Civil War-era law, encourages private individuals, such as whistleblowers, to come forward and file suit against unscrupulous government contractors, and share in the government's recovery. The passage of the law was inspired by contractors selling the Union Army bags of sand as flour, lame mules as cavalry horses, and glued-together rags as uniforms.
The main purpose of the law is, of...
DOJ Previews False Claims Act Enforcement Priorities for 2021
The False Claims Act is the federal government's primary enforcement tool to combat fraud against the public. Every year the government recovers billions of dollars under the statute, primarily with the help of whistleblowers. Under the so-called qui tam provisions of the act, whistleblowers are authorized to act as private attorneys general and bring lawsuits on behalf of the government and recover a portion of...