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Category Archives: Pharmaceuticals

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Blood Medicine tells the story of Mark Duxbury’s suffering to expose big pharma’s abuse

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, Healthcare, Honesty Without Fear Radio, Pharmaceuticals
Kathleen Sharp’s book about pharmaceutical whistleblower Mark Duxbury will be released in paperback on September 1, 2012. It is Blood Medicine: Blowing the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever. I had the pleasure of interviewing journalist Kathleen Sharp on November 15, 2011.  You can listen to the archive of that interview here. Mark Duxbury was a star… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Spur $1.5 Billion Off-Label Marketing Settlement

Posted in Pharmaceuticals, Whistleblowing Works
Whistleblowers have succeeded in a $1.5 billion off-label marketing case against Abbott Laboratories Inc., the Department of Justice announced today. Combined, the $700 million criminal fines and $800 million civil fines are the second largest government recovery from a drug company in history. The Department of Justice intervened after four whistleblowers filed suit against the company. These plaintiffs provided original… Continue Reading

Sylvester wins at ARB in a victory for all whistleblowers

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Healthcare, Legislation, Pharmaceuticals
On May 25, 2011, the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued a major decision in favor of whistleblowers. In Sylvester v. Parexel International, ARB Case No. 07-123 (ARB May 25, 2011), the ARB held that a whistleblower only needs a "reasonable belief" of a violation to engage in protected activity under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The ARB… Continue Reading

ARB holds first oral argument in a SOX case

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Healthcare, Legislation, Pharmaceuticals
Today the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) held its first oral argument in a case under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Last November, the ARB gave notice of today’s oral argument, and invited interested groups to submit friend-of-the-court (or "amicus") briefs. The ARB asked the parties to address issues of how specific OSHA complaints have to be, whether Administrative… Continue Reading

Obama Signs Landmark Whistleblower Protections in Food Safety Act

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Healthcare, Legislation, Pharmaceuticals, Whistleblower FAQ
Today, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2571), which contains landmark whistleblower protections for food safety employees. Highlights of the Food Safety Whistleblower Provision:   Covers all employers "engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transportation, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food;" Allows workers have their case heard before a jury in federal court; Provides for… Continue Reading

FDA whistleblower Dr. David Graham to testify on Avandia today

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
David J. Graham, M.D., M.P.H., is a drug safety whistleblower working at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On November 18, 2004, Dr. Graham testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance about Merck’s withdrawal of the popular anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx. He testified that FDA policies could not protect the public from drugs with unacceptable risks. "I would argue that… Continue Reading

Sen. Grassley asks pharma about whistleblower policies

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
Sen. Charles Grassley today released copies of his letters to 16 big pharmaceutical companies about their whistleblower policies. Bloomberg news service is also reporting on these inquiries. The letters review Sen. Grassley’s efforts to strengthen the False Claims Act (FCA), and ask what the companies are doing to inform employees about the FCA, and then to protect employees who come… Continue Reading

Maryland Senate passes watered-down state False Health Claims Act

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, Legislation, Pharmaceuticals
The Maryland Senate yesterday passed a state version of the False Claims Act (FCA) by a vote of 37 in favor and 8 against. Before passing this bill, however, the Senate watered it down with an amendment. The Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010, SB 279, as amended, no longer allows the state (or a whistleblower acting on behalf… Continue Reading

U.S. Government and 16 States Join False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Pharm Co. Wyeth

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals
The United States Government, along with the governments of 15 states and the District of Columbia, have joined with two whistleblowers who allege that drug manufacturer Wyeth bilked US taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. As reported in the Wall Street Journal and the FierceHealthcare website, Wyeth is accused of overcharging Medicare and Medicaid programs nationwide for purchases of… Continue Reading

$670 Million False Claims Act Settlement from Merck Flying Under the Radar

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, News, Pharmaceuticals
I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the False Claims Act is supposed to be a Whistleblower law. Something is strange when there’s a 670 Million Dollar settlement under this law and it’s actually pretty hard to find out what happened. (The only reports I could find were in the Corporate Crime Reporter and a paragraph five mention… Continue Reading