$17M Off-Label Marketing Whistleblower Reward
A whistleblower in an off-label marketing case against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. will receive more than $17 million as a reward. The reward is his share of a $95 million settlement with the government. Whistleblowers get a share of such settlements as a reward for reporting fraud under the False Claims Act.
Robert Heiden, a former sales representative for Boehringer, blew the whistle on the company’s illegal off-label marketing of three different drugs. The three drugs were Aggrenox, Combivent, and Micardis.
The government alleged that Boehreinger marketed these drugs for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Such unapproved uses are not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Yet these federal health care programs were billed millions.
Boehreinger is also accused of paying kickbacks to doctors for prescribing Aggrenox, Atrovent, Combivent and Micardis.
As a result of today’s $95 million settlement, the federal government will obtain $78,455,048, and state Medicaid programs will obtain $16,544,952.
The settlement resolves a False Claims Act lawsuit filed in the District of Maryland by Robert Heiden, a former sales representative for Boehringer. The whistleblower, or qui tam, provisions of the False Claims Act permit the relator to obtain a portion of the proceeds obtained by the federal government. As part of today’s resolution, Mr. Heiden will receive more than $17 million….
“Pharmaceutical companies cannot market drugs for unapproved uses, make unwarranted claims about their benefits, or pay kickbacks to doctors who prescribe them,” said Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. “Drugs should be marketed only for purposes for which they are deemed safe and effective, and a doctor’s decision to prescribe a drug should not be influenced by his personal financial interest.”
This settlement is the latest in a series of off-label marketing cases against pharmaceutical companies. For other recent cases, see Abbott Labs Fined $700M for Off Label Marketing and GlaxoSmithKline to Pay $3 Billion in Pharmaceutical Whistleblower Case.
If you have non-public information about off-label pharmaceutical marketing or other health care fraud, a Medicare whistleblower attorney can help determine whether you have a case. We can guide you through the steps that need to be taken. Call 1-877-255-2676 today for a free, confidential consultation or contact us.