December was a big month for the False Claims Act.
13 cases settled under the federal False Claims Act totaling some $143 million in recoveries.
Pharmaceutical giant Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., and seven of its subsidiaries, will pay $39 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the company manufactured and sold chewable fluoride multivitamins containing less than half the labeled dosage. Fluoride is critical to the dental health of children living in communities without fluoridated drinking water.
Former Endo Pharmaceutical sales representative Peggy Ryan was presented with the “Whistleblower of the Year Award” at the 15th Annual Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) Conference for her tireless work exposing Endo’s aggressive off-label campaign to sell Lidoderm, a drug originally granted orphan status by the FDA because it was only approved to treat postherpetic neuralgia.
“Judge Kelly’s decision is not only a testament to Peggy’s commitment in this decade long case, but also reaffirms the value of all whistleblowers and the False Claims Act as the government’s most powerful tool in fighting fraud,” said James Hoyer Law Firm Managing Partner Chris Casper.
"We reject the Government’s argument for several reasons. First, the Government’s interpretation is contrary to the explicit language of the statute. The Court reads the statute to hold that the only measuring stick is the contribution of the relator. If Congress had intended limitations, like in the case of large awards, it would have explicitly included them within the statutory framework of the FCA. Congress’ silence on this issue compels rejection of the Government’s argument. Second, the Government has failed to include any legal precedent affirming this argument, and thorough research by this Court has failed to unearth any such support."