False Claims Act “Whistleblower” litigation increased in 2010

False Claims Act “Whistleblower” litigation increased dramatically in 2010.
In the second half of 2010, the Department of Justice published settlements in many large cases against pharmaceutical companies.  Some examples:
• Abbot, Roxane, B. Braun Medical, and Dey Inc. – DOJ settled actions in 2010 against Abbot Laboratories, Inc., Roxane Laboratories Inc., B Braun Medical Inc., Dey Inc. and other related companies.  The settlements dealt with allegations that the companies illegally increased the reported “average wholesale price” of drugs.  This increased the reimbursement amount that the government paid for the drugs under  programs such as Medicare.    The companies paid $701.2 million dollars as part of the resolution of these claims.
• Elan Corp.  – DOJ settled actions in 2010 with Elan Corp., PLC and its related business Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc. related to the resolution of alleged illegal promotion of an epilepsy drug.  Elan agreed to pay approximately $100 million in criminal fines and about $102.9 million to resolve the FCA actions.
• A GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary settled actions in 2010, agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges related to the distribution and manufacturing of adulterated drugs.  The company paid a criminal fine of $150 million and civil penalties of $600 million to resolve allegations that it caused the government to pay for adulterated drugs.  The whistleblower in this claim received approximately 96 million dollars.
• Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. settled claims in 2010 for $422.5 million to resolve criminal and civil liability that arose from alleged illegal marketing of various drugs. 
• Forest Laboratories subsidiary, Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc. came to resolution agreeing to pay $313 million to resolve claims that the company illegally distributed an unapproved drug known as Levothroid and also promoted “off label” uses for the drug Celexa.  It is also alleged to have caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for Celexa, Lexapro, and Levothroid, in addition to paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe Lexapro and Celexa. 
• Allergan Inc., agreed to pay a $600 million dollar settlement in 2010 to resolve claims that the company marketed Botox for “off label” uses.  The Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act is alleged to have been violated in this instance. 

Please contact the attorneys of The Mulligan Law Firm at 866-529-0001 if you would like to discuss a qui tam whistleblower action.

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