Johnson & Johnson Settle Qui Tam Actions Under the False Claims Act
The False Claims Action A claim that Pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson engaged in kickbacks was recently settled according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The claim was brought on behalf of a whistleblower who was a former employee of Omnicare, Inc., a long-term care pharmacy.
The whistleblower, a pharmacist, claimed that Johnson & Johnson engaged in a kickback and illegal marketing scheme. The core of the scheme was that Johnson & Johnson got Omnicare and its pharmacists to get physicians to switch patients from approved drugs to medications made by Johnson & Johnson. The main drug that was switched, in favor of Johnson & Johnson, was an antipsychotic drug called Risperdal.
The scheme was alleged to have occurred from 1999 to 2004. The whistleblower claim was started in 2003. The wrong was compounded by the fact that many of the patients were vulnerable nursing home patients. The result The lawsuit was started in federal district court in Massachusetts. Under the terms of the settlement agreement Johnson & Johnson will pay $149 million to the U.S. government. Under the terms of the False Claims Act, the whistleblower should receive a portion of the award. The Massachusetts case is not the only case against Johnson & Johnson that was related to Risperdal. Federal suits have resulted in settlements for Risperdal schemes in Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana on behalf of other whistleblowers. More on Whistleblowers and the False Claims Act
The False Claims Act is a federal law that allows relators/whistleblowers the right to bring a lawsuit against people, organizations and businesses that cheat the federal government or an agency of the federal government. If you know someone or some entity that you think was involved in a fraudulent act that harmed the federal government, you may be able to bring your own False Claims Action.
Contact Begelman, Orlow & Melletz at 866-627-7052 for more information on qui-tam whistleblower claims.