In Fiscal Year 2013, the False Claims Act recovered $3.8 billion in judgments and settlements – the highest amount ever in a single year. Many of these cases involved healthcare fraud; however, some interesting cases revealed that fraud can abound in virtually any area or industry. The following lists the highest-grossing cases of the year in terms of total recovery. Keep in mind, whistleblowers may receive up to 30 percent of any recovery by the federal government, and many of the following settlements resulted in seven-figure paydays for the courageous whistleblowers behind the action.
Par Pharmaceuticals – $45 Million
Drug maker Par Pharmaceuticals paid $45 million to settle claims it engaged in “off-label marketing” to promote Megace Extended Release for the treatment of geriatric wasting, or unexplained weight loss in the elderly. The drug was originally approved by the FDA to treat anorexia, cachexia, or other significant weight loss suffered by patients with AIDS.
Tremco Roofing – $61 Million
Tremco Roofing agreed to pay $61 million to settle claims it required the federal government to pay inflated prices for labor and materials and failed to offer the government discounts it provided to other customers. The government contracted with Tremco to provide roofing and waterproofing services to several of its buildings.
Sanofi – $109 Million
French drug maker Sanofi remitted $109 million to settle allegations of unlawful kickback schemes with physicians. The whistleblower, who received over $18 million, alleged a system wherein Sanofi offered doctors free drugs in exchange for their promise to promote and encourage patients to use certain products.
United Technologies Corp – $473 Million
The government recovered $473 million against Connecticut-based contractor United Technologies for procurement fraud perpetrated against the U.S. Air Force pursuant to a contract for the production of fighter jets. The defendant allegedly used false statements and data to win its contract with the government, resulting in treble damages under the FCA, the largest-ever procurement fraud recovery.
Ranbaxy – $500 million
The government settled with India-based drugmaker Ranbaxy in 2013, resulting in the largest-ever international case involving drug safety and manufacturing protocol. Allegations against Ranbaxy revealed subpar manufacturing facilities and false statements to the FDA about its drugs, including epilepsy drug Gabapentin.
Amgen – $762 Million
In the largest recovery involving a biotech corporation to date, Amgen agreed to pay over three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle civil and criminal allegations of off-label marketing. The allegations involve Amgen’s promotion of an anemia drug to a broad spectrum of patients when the FDA had only approved its use for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Johnson and Johnson – $2.2 Billion
Johnson and Johnson settled its False Claims Act allegations for $2.2 billion in 2013. The company is alleged to have illegally marketed its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal to children, older adults, and people with developmental disabilities.
Your Case – $?
If you are aware of potential fraud at your workplace or physician’s office, we encourage you to come forward and speak with a confidential whistleblower attorney today. Whistleblower rewards can be very sizable and these cases prove effective in eliminating some of the fraud perpetrated against unknowing patients and U.S. taxpayers.