False Claims Act Update & Alert


Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund | Washington, D.C. | WWW.TAF.ORG          
June 24, 2009


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Graham County FCA Case
Goes Back to Supreme Court
The Supreme Court will be taking up the case of Graham County Soil and Water Conservation District, et al. v. United States, ex rel. Wilson, for a second time. To refresh memories, in the first Supreme Court case, the issue was statute of limitations for False Claims Act retaliation claims.  In the new case, the issue is whether public disclosure language referring to administrative audits refers only to federal government documents, or whether it applies to state government documents as well. 
To read more
>> Fourth Circuit opinion
DoJ request for cert

15 States File Against Wyeth

Fifteen states have filed a complaint in federal court charging Wyeth with not paying millions of dollars in rebates owed to state Medicaid programs for Protonix, an acid-reflux drug.  DoJ joined a similar lawsuit in May of this year. >> To read more

Fraud is Pfizer's Culture

A regional manager for Pfizer, has been sentenced to twenty-four months of probation and a $75,000 fine after pleading guilty to off-label marking of Bextra.  Mary Holloway knowingly and intentionally had her Pfizer sales staff of approximately 100 employees sell Bextra for non-FDA approved uses.  Her defense?  Holloway's sentencing memo claims Pfizer trumpeted her initiatives and complimented her efforts to push Bextra for off-label uses, and that off-label promotion of Bextra was "part of the Pfizer culture."  Pfizer has reserved $2.3 billion to settle Bextra and other off-label marketing claims.  >> To read more

Weak FDA Oversight
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has published "Shortcomings in FDA’s Premarket Review, Postmarket Surveillance, and Inspections of Device Manufacturing Establishments," in which they conclude that shortcomings in both premarket and postmarket activities raise serious concerns about FDA's regulation of medical devices. >> GAO Report.

CVS Promoted Zyprexa
A unit of CVS Caremark marketed Lilly's Zyprexa antipsychotic medication while it was under contract with health insurers to manage down costs.  Lilly paid $1.4 billion for off-label marketing of Zyprexa earlier this year.  CVS is the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the U.S >> To read more

Fraud in the Crosshairs
Everyone agrees that the era of winking at fraud is over.  Notes Gary Eiland, a partner at defense firm King & Spalding:  "[H]ealth care fraud is cited by both sides of the aisle as a significant factor in the continued escalation in health care costs, so we are going to continue to see a focus on trying to reduce and appropriately penalize those that engage in fraud."   >> To read more