Celgene has agreed to pay $280 million to settle a whistleblower-initiated False Claims Act case
over the off-label marketing of Thalomid
and Revlimid, with $259.3 million going to settle federal civil claims, and $20.7 million going to 28 states and the District of Columbia.
Whistleblowing fraud-fighter Beverly Brown was a former sales representative at Celgene who, in her complaint, said that the company "flooded the country” with sales reps under heavy pressure to get oncologists to prescribe the drugs for off-label purposes.
The Department of Justice did not join this lawsuit, which was ready and prepped for trial.
The whistleblower in this case stands to receive between 25 and 30 percent of the total reward, a portion of which will go to pay her legal team as well as state and federal taxes.
Celgene made a massive amount of money off the two related drugs, with one estimate that 90 percent of the Thalomid sales made in 2000 were being used off-label to treat cancer. In 2016, Revlimid sales generated $6.97 billion in revenue for Celgene.