Beasley Allen lawyers continue to handle whistleblower lawsuits under the Federal False Claims Act and related federal and state statutes. Recently, Dee Miles, Archie Grubb and Andrew Brashier, lawyers in our Consumer Fraud Section, represented one of six whistleblowers to come forward alleging that a global pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (Daiichi) violated federal and state laws, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, by paying kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe its drugs, including Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor, and Welchol. Daiichi has agreed to pay the United States and state Medicaid programs $39 million to resolve the allegations. The case was spearheaded by whistleblower Kathy Fragoules, who was expertly represented by attorney Marcella White from the Nolan, Auerbach & White law firm.
The Anti-Kickback Statute was enacted to ensure that physicians’ medical judgment is not compromised by improper payments and gifts by other health care providers. The statute generally prohibits anyone from offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. In this case, the whistleblowers alleged Daiichi used lavish entertainment and padded speaker program payments to induce physicians to prescribe its drugs. In some cases, physicians were alleged to have received payments for speaking to their own office staff.
As part of the settlement, Daiichi has agreed to enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), which obligates the Defendants to undertake substantial internal compliance reforms for the next five years. The whistleblowers will share approximately $7 million of the settlement proceeds, with the remainder paid to the United States and various state governments.
Since January 2009, the federal government has recovered more than $23.3 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $14.9 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. Beasley Allen lawyers are proud to assist in this effort. For further information on whistleblower cases, call 800-898-2034 and ask for one of these lawyers in our firm: Archie Grubb (Archie.Grubb@BeasleyAllen.com), Andrew Brashier (Andrew.Brashier@BeasleyAllen.com), Lance Gould (Lance.Gould@BeasleyAllen.com), or Larry Golston (Larry.Golston@BeasleyAllen.com).