Becoming a Whistleblower, and exposing pharmaceutical fraud, helps ensure that drugs are only marketed for the uses for which they were approved. Off-label marketing is profiteering at the expense of patient safety, a despicable business practice that Whistleblowers regularly help eliminate. A healthcare system in crisis cannot afford such waste, and becoming a Whistleblower is an honorable way of doing your part.
Pharmaceutical fraud now accounts for the largest False Claims Act recoveries by the U.S. government and whistleblowers. Drug companies have been known to offer a doctor up to $10,000 worth in free trips, tickets to sports events, days at the spa, and dinner cruises. “Marketing” or as a way to “educate” doctors — it is often simple bribery.
Pharmaceutical fraud is so pervasive that covering all the ways it happens is simply not possible. The Medicare prescription plan seems to ensure that the magnitude of this fraud will grow over time.
Drug company fraud often involves issues such as:
- off-label marketing of drugs for uses other than those approved by the FDA;
- kickbacks and other inducements to physicians, hospitals, pharmacies to prescribe specific drugs;
- charging prices to the Government that are higher than allowable by law; and
- providing false or misleading data to the FDA during clinical research trials.
Pharmaceutical fraud resulting in whistleblower rewards include:
Bristol-Myers Squibb Paid $515 Million for Illegal Drug Marketing and Pricing
Whistleblowers received approximately $50 million as the U.S. government settled allegations that BMS:
- willfully paid illegal remuneration to physicians and other health care providers to induce them to purchase BMS drugs;
- illegally promoted the off-label sale and use of Abilify, an atypical antipsychotic drug, for pediatric use;
- set and maintained fraudulent and inflated prices for a wide assortment of oncology and generic drug products; and
- misreported the best price for the anti-depression drug, Serzone.
Cephalon Paid $425 Million For Off-Label Drug Marketing
Whistleblowers received approximately $46.5 million as Cephalon settled allegations that it knowingly promoted the off-label sale and use of 3 drugs — Actiq, Gabitril and Provigil.
Merck Paid $650 Million to Resolve Fraudulent Price Reporting and Kickbacks
Whistleblowers received more than $68 million for shedding light on the facts that Merck:
failed to pay proper rebates to Medicaid and other government health care programs; and
paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce them to prescribe the company’s products.