Houston, TX (PRWEB) March 30, 2014
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. recently agreed to pay the federal government and the State of Illinois $27.6 million to resolve allegations of illegally paying a doctor to prescribe certain dangerous drugs, according to Bloomberg News. Houston Medicaid fraud lawyer J. Mark Brewer of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. said he hopes the settlement sends a clear message to other corporations that such alleged behavior will not be tolerated.
Attorney Brewer based his comments on an article published March 11, 2014, by Bloomberg News about $27.6 million payment to settle the case.
“Drug companies need to realize that there are consequences for their actions,” Brewer said. “These corporations cannot play games with people’s lives simply to make a profit. They need to make responsible decisions and not put pressure on doctors to prescribe drugs that could potentially harm people. Patients trust doctors to prescribe drugs that will help them get better. When doctors and drug companies violate that trust, these companies and reckless doctors need to be punished. People’s lives are literally on the line.”
The U.S. Justice Department ruled that certain units of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. violated the U.S. False Claims Act by paying a doctor in Illinois $50,000 to prescribe a generic form of clozapine to Medicare and Medicaid patients, according to the Bloomberg News article.
Clozapine is used to treat schizophrenia and has, “serious side effects and is considered a drug of last resort, especially for elderly patients,” according to a statement from the U.S. Justice Department quoted in the Bloomberg News article.
Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, Bloomberg News reported. As part of the $27.6 million settlement, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. agreed to pay the State of Illinois $15.5 million and the federal government $12.1 million, Bloomberg News reported.
The False Claims Act was created to expose government fraud and reward whistleblowers who speak out against government corruption. This 1863 federal law rewards people who report government fraud and other criminal activity, according to Houston False Claims Act attorney J. Mark Brewer of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
“Our tax dollars should not be wasted on fraudulent schemes that could potentially cause serious harm to innocent people,” Brewer said. “Laws like the False Claims Act exists for a reason: to root out corruption and fraud. The settlement involving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shows that this law remains as relevant as ever 151 years after it was created. Our law firm knows firsthand the effectiveness of the False Claims Act. That’s because we handled many significant Medicaid fraud cases in Texas. These cases can be very complicated and extremely difficult to prove. That’s why we strongly encourage people who suspect this form of fraud to contact us as soon as possible.”
The Bloomberg News article cited is “Teva to Pay $27.6 Million to Settle Clozapine Payoff Case.”
The case is U.S. v. Reinstein, 12-09167, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
About Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
Serving clients throughout Texas and across the country, the attorneys at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. have a well-earned reputation for being knowledgeable, experienced lawyers focused on results. The Houston law firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Medicaid fraud, whistleblower claims, business law, corporate law, mergers, acquisitions and other legal issues. The law firm discreetly investigates every case and respects clients’ privacy. For more information about what to do if you suspect Medicaid fraud and the legal options available to Medicaid fraud whistleblowers, call 800-445-8710 or complete the online contact form.
Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
Three Riverway, 18th Floor
Houston, Texas 77056