GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“Glaxo”) has agreed to settle criminal and civil charges, including 4 separate whistleblower suits, related to several different prescription medications for a total of $3 billion. According to the Department of Justice, it is the largest payment by a pharmaceutical company to settle a health care fraud case in U.S. history.
The settlement of the criminal allegations involves a guilty plea by Glaxo to three-count criminal information, along with payment of a $957 million fine and the forfeiture of $43 million.
Glaxo agreed to settle the related False Claims Act allegations with the payment of $2 billion to the federal government and the states.
According to the government, Glaxo unlawfully promoted the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal and Zofran for off-label uses. Once a drug is approved for a specific use by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), any promotion by the company for a different use is considered “misbranded.”
The government also alleged that Glaxo failed to report safety data to the FDA regarding the drug Avandia; paid illegal kickbacks to physicians in exchange for prescribing the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex; and knowingly supplied inaccurate pricing information to government healthcare programs.
The allegations were originally brought to light by four whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers alleged that Glaxo’s unlawful marketing, illegal payments to health care professionals, making false and misleading statements about drug safety, and submission of false pricing information caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE.
As their reward, the whistleblowers will share in a percentage of the civil settlement amount.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.