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Oct 13, 2022 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Pharmaceutical Company To Pay $40 Million To Resolve the Alleged Use of Kickbacks and False Statements

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Former Marketing Employee Beings Case

Alleged Kickbacks To Hospitals And Physicians

Whistleblower To Receive $11 Million From Settlement

Federal law authorizes private citizens to bring suits against businesses defrauding the government. False Claims Act, (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.  Every year in this country, individuals bring more enforcement efforts under the FCA against companies defrauding the government than the government itself brings. Fraud often occurs in the healthcare sector under programs like Medicare and may involve violations of other federal laws like the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, and the Stark Law, 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn. Cases brought by private citizens (referred to in the law as “relators”) are known as “qui tam actions.” Qui tam actions recover billions for the government every year.  The FCA authorizes awards to relators when the government recovers. 31 U.S.C. §3730 (d).  Frequently, relators are current or former employees, representatives or agents of the businesses committing the alleged fraud.  If you have credible information of fraud against the government in violation of the FCA and live in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Recent FCA Settlement[1]

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, and its related entities, have agreed to pay $40 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act in connection with three of its drugs.  The settlement resolves allegations that defendants paid kickbacks to hospitals and physicians to induce them to utilize the defendant’s drugs, and also marketed these drugs for off-label uses that were not reasonable and necessary. Plaintiff further alleged that defendant downplayed the safety risks of one of the drugs. The lawsuit alleged that as a result of this conduct, the drug maker caused the submission of false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid Programs and violated the laws of 20 states and the District of Columbia. Under the terms of the settlement, the drug maker will pay $38,860,555 to the United States and $1,139,445 to the 20 states and the District of Columbia. 

“[Plaintiff] diligently pursued this matter for almost two decades,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the DOJ’s Civil Division.  “Today’s recovery highlights the critical role that whistleblowers play in the effective use of the False Claims Act to combat fraud in federal healthcare programs.”

How A Qui Tam Action Begins

Individuals with original and credible information of false claims, like the relator in the reported case, begin FCA qui tam cases by filing a complaint under seal in the federal court. At the same time, the relator submits a disclosure to the DOJ outlining the material evidence the relator has of the alleged false claims. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). The seal period of the complaint lasts 60 days during which the DOJ investigates the claims.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2). (If necessary, the government can, and often does, extend the 60-day period during which the allegations are kept under seal.)  If the government decides to intervene in the case, the government essentially takes over the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(1).   If the government declines to intervene, the relator may proceed with the litigation on his or her own.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(3).

Contact Us

If you have credible information of government fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  In addition to FCA and CFCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid and Evans Law Firm, Inc. also handle bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the two cases in any way.  The cases are captioned United States ex rel. Simpson v. Bayer Corp., Civ. No. 05-cv-3895 (D.N.J.) and United States ex rel. Simpson v. Bayer Corp., Civ. No. 08-5758 (D. Minn.). 

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