Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) June 18, 2013
Young Law Group, a leader in whistleblower law and False Claims Act litigation, announces a False Claims Act initiative aimed at ferreting out alleged, unlawful kickbacks in the healthcare industry.
This YLG initiative builds on back-to-back kickback complaints by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York in late April alleging that Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis (ADR) engaged in multimillion dollar kickbacks to physicians from 2002 through 2011 inducing doctors to prescribe Novartis drugs that were paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, joining a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit initially filed by Young Law Group, and a related complaint alleging kickbacks to twenty or more pharmacies in exchange for their switching transplant patients from competitor drugs to NOVARTIS’s drug, Myfortic.
Among other illegal actions, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s complaint alleging Novartis kickbacks to physicians details abusive speaker programs and payments. “As alleged, Novartis corrupted the prescription drug dispensing process with multi-million dollar ‘incentive programs’ that targeted doctors who, in exchange for illegal kickbacks, steered patients toward its drugs,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said issuing the complaint.
Bharara’s prosecution of alleged pharmaceutical industry kickbacks is part and parcel of broader U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York enforcement initiatives according to an April 8, New York Law Journal analysis.
“Conscientious U.S. Attorneys are now employing anti-kickback litigation to pursue False Claims Act prosecutions, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, in this sea change in enforcement,” Eric L. Young said.
Young Law Group’s false claims (qui tam) initiative addresses this sea change in enforcement.
Kickback allegations are not uncommon in the pharmaceutical industry. For instance, on May 27, The Financial Post reported that Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Bausch & Lomb Inc. agreed to pay $33.5 million to resolve federal claims of misbranding and paying kickbacks related to the drug Xibrom. In March, two former Warner Chilcott PLC employees brought a false claims suit that the pharmaceutical manufacturer offered physicians kickbacks to generate prescriptions thereby overbilling Medicare and Medicaid.
Kickbacks violate International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations standards and practices. For instance, regarding wining and dining physicians to induce them to prescribe certain drugs, the international association of pharmaceutical manufacturer association rules that “refreshments and/or meals incidental to the main purpose of the event can only be provided: exclusively to participants of the event; and if they are moderate and reasonable as judged by local standards.
“In a climate where enforcement matters more and more, we are delighted to respond to pharmaceutical industry professionals, physicians, hospitals and Medicare and Medicaid professionals, concerned about false or fraudulent billings,” Young said.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s complaint regarding physicians (justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April13/Novartis2LawsuitPR/US%20v.%20Novartis%20Relator%202nd%20Amended%20Complaint%2011civ00071%20.pdf) is Case Number 11 Civ.0071 and his complaint regarding pharmacies (justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April13/NovartisLawsuitPR/Novartis%20Pharmaceuticals%20Corporation%20-%20Complaint%20in%20Intervention%20%2811%20Civ%208196%29.pdf) is Case Number 11 Civ. 8196.
Young Law Group specializes in representing whistleblowers ("relators") throughout the United States and internationally in qui tam lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act allows private individuals to sue companies that are defrauding the federal government and to recover funds on the government's behalf. Whistleblowers may be entitled to 15 percent to 30 percent of civil recoveries resulting from a qui tam lawsuit.
Contact: Young Law Group by email by clicking on Mr. Young's name on the right or visit us at http://www.young-lawgroup.com