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Catch of the Week – AmerisourceBergen Corporation

Posted  10/12/18
Last Monday, one of the largest drug wholesalers in the country agreed to pay $625 million to settle allegations that it put cancer patients at risk by illegally repackaging and distributing millions of vials of oncology drugs. The federal government and forty-four states claimed that AmerisourceBergen Corp. (“ABC”) and one of its subsidiaries, Medical Initiatives, Inc. (“MII”) engaged in a thirteen-year-long...

What Would You Do? Disgrace and Conflicts in Medical Clinical Studies

Posted  09/18/18
The fall and resignation of the renowned Chief Medical Officer and physician-in-chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, researcher Dr. Jose Baselga, once again sound the alarm of questionable ethics, conflicts of interest, and integrity in clinical studies. Dr. Baselga is known as one of the world’s top cancer doctors, credited with new, life-saving therapies. Drug companies sponsor interested...

Third Circuit Clarifies the Public Disclosure Bar in United States ex rel. Silver v. PharMerica

Posted  09/7/18

Whistleblower Marc Silver secured a victory from the Third Circuit on September 4, 2018, which held that his action was not blocked by the “public disclosure bar” of the False Claims Act, reversing a lower court that had dismissed his action. The Third Circuit’s opinion appropriately recognizes that a whistleblower can use non-public information as a bridge between public information and allegations of fraud,...

AstraZeneca Settles Seroquel False Claims Action -- Again

Posted  08/9/18
On August 8, 2018, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $110 million to the state of Texas to settle allegations that it promoted two of its drugs without FDA approval resulting in health risks to children, adolescents, and other state hospital patients. This case was brought by two whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of Texas’s Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act. The whistleblowers, two former AstraZeneca employees, among...

How Copayment Waivers can Give Rise to a Whistleblower Claim

Posted  06/8/18
Kickbacks in healthcare What’s not to like about a doctor waiving a patient’s copayment, or a pharmaceutical company offering a prescription drug assistance program? Turns out there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about such activities. And, as a recently announced $24 million settlement with Pfizer illustrates, unlawful patient cost waivers can result in big liability for defendants. Patient cost-sharing is a core principle...

Pfizer Agrees to Pay $23.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability for Paying Kickbacks

Posted  05/24/18
The Department of Justice today announced that Pfizer agreed to pay $23.85 million to resolve allegations that it used a foundation as a conduit to pay the copays of Medicare patients taking three Pfizer drugs. Medicare Part B or D beneficiaries typically make a partial payment when obtaining prescription drugs in the form of a copay, coinsurance, or deductible. Under the Anti-Kickback Statute, pharmaceutical...

Ex-Manager and CEO Convicted in $9.7 Million Valeant Kickback Scheme

Posted  05/23/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Yesterday, a federal jury in Manhattan convicted Gary Tanner, a midlevel executive at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, and Andrew Davenport, the CEO of Philidor Rx Services, of conspiring to bring about Valeant’s purchase of Philidor in exchange for a $9.7 million kickback. The scheme allegedly netted Davenport $40 million, and he kicked back a portion of it to...

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Sets Aside $57M to Settle DOJ Probe

Posted  05/9/18
Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc disclosed yesterday it has reached a tentative agreement to pay $57 million to resolve a Justice Department probe over its donations to charities that reduce drug prices for Medicare patients. The company manufactures Xyrem, a costly drug used to treat narcolepsy. Jazz had previously received multiple DOJ subpoenas concerning its charitable donations and announced the agreement in principle...

Supreme Court Considers Revisiting Key FCA Decision

Posted  04/17/18
Supreme CourtBy the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Yesterday, the justices asked the Trump Administration’s Office of the Solicitor General’s views on a petition for certiorari in United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Scis., a False Claims Act (FCA) suit against pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences. The suit, which was brought by two former Gilead employees turned whistleblowers, alleges the company made false statements...

Alere to Pay $33.2 Million to Settle FCA Allegations Relating to Unreliable Diagnostic Testing Devices

Posted  03/23/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Massachusetts-based medical device manufacturer Alere Inc. and its subsidiary Alere San Diego have agreed to pay the United States $33.2 million to resolve allegations that Alere caused hospitals to submit false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs by knowingly selling materially unreliable point-of-care diagnostic testing devices, the Justice...
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