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West Palm Beach False Claims Act & Whistleblower Cases

Reverse mortgage fraud is on the rise, and taxpayers are paying the bill.  How?

A reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan available only to elderly borrowers who have a large amount of equity in their homes.  Essentially, the borrower cashes out the equity by taking a loan, usually paid to the borrower in a lump sum by a lender.   The borrower puts up his or her home as collateral, and the borrower must repay the loan once he or she moves, sells the home, or passes away.   (Usually, the borrower’s estate sells the home and uses the proceeds to pay off the loan).

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According to the Department of Justice, Shire Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Shire”) has agreed to settle two qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers alleging violations of the False Claims Act for allegedly making false and unsupported claims related to Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Daytrana, and promoting off-label uses of its drugs Pentasa, and Lialda.  According to the Department of Justice, Shire will pay $56 million to resolve the civil allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.

According to its corporate website, Shire develops and markets products for use in the fields of neuroscience, rare diseases, gastrointestinal, and internal medicine.  It has locations in 29 countries and markets its products in over 50 countries.

“Off-label” means the medication is being used in a manner not specified in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved packaging label or insert.  In the United States, no law prohibits physicians from prescribing medications for off-label uses.  However, pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to promote a drug for off-label uses without formal FDA approval.