Medical doctors, physicians, neurologists, health care administrators, pharmacists, nurses, or other medical professional are needed to blow the whistle on Billions of dollars in Health Care Fraud. If you are aware of hospital formulary fraud, fraudulent off label marketing practices, or illegal drug kickbacks, please feel free to contact Pharmaceutical Off Label Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer Jason Coomer via e-mail message or use our submission form about a potential off label marketing fraud whistleblower lawsuit, drug kickback marketing fraud lawsuit, or other marketing fraud whistleblower qui tam lawsuit.
Drug Companies That Can Influence Standards of Care and Hospital Formularies Through Marketing Fraud, Fraudulent Research, and Manipulation Can Make Large Amounts of Money
Many health care professions have become aware of the strong influence that drug companies now have in determining community standards of care for medication use in patients. These drug companies push drug samples into many hospitals and often use powerful forms of manipulation including biased research, influencing key medical doctors, and kickbacks to get their drugs placed on hospital formularies.
Because of the immense power and influence of drug companies, it is becoming common to have drug marketing executives and representative to be able to influence what drugs whole communities. In many situations the drug companies are more powerful than individual doctors that are forced to follow hospital formularies. This drug company manipulation of the medical community can be extremely dangerous because it takes important medical decisions out of the hands of individual medical doctors and allows the drug companies to push potentially dangerous drugs for off-label drug uses and in inappropriate situations.
The drug industry's main goal is to make a profit. Each drug company is trying to sell as much of their drug as they can regardless of the potential danger to patients or if there are cheaper more effective alternatives available. If the marketing executives and drug representatives can get their drug placed on a hospital formulary or make it the standard of care in a community, they are able to make lots of money. Once this is accomplished there are economic incentives to keep expanding the use of the drug to keep expanding off-label uses.
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Recently several large drug companies have been caught fraudulently marketing drugs for off-label purposes. These drug companies have had to pay Billions of dollars for Medicare Marketing Fraud Off-Label Lawsuits, Medicaid Marketing Fraud Off-Label Lawsuits, and other health care fraud lawsuits. Despite these large fines, Drug Companies have continued this practice because they are making profits of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars.
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors hit Pfizer Inc. with a record-breaking $2.3 billion in fines Wednesday and called the world's largest drug maker a repeating corporate cheat for illegal drug promotions that plied doctors with free golf, massages, and resort junkets." Pfizer to pay record $2.3B penalty over promotions Repeat offender Pfizer paying record $2.3B settlement for illegal drug promotions By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer On Wednesday September 2, 2009, 3:47 pm EDT
The Department of Justice has announced that this penalty is a warning to all drug manufacturers that criminal and civil prosecution of fraudulent drug marketing, fraudulent off label marketing, illegal kickbacks, and other fraud schemes. They have also announced that there are several new Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud Law Enforcement Teams that are cracking down on Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud Schemes. These teams will be investigating and prosecuting people that have profited from these scheme and people that knew about the fraudulent scheme, but failed to report them.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Representatives and Medical Device Marketing Representatives often Combine Free Gifts, Lunches, Dinners, and Drinks with Biased and/or Fraudulent Research to Encourage Medicare Off-label Drug Use, Changes in Standards of Care, and Over Prescribing of Medical Devices or Drugs
Marketing fraud including medical device marketing fraud and drug company marketing fraud has increased over the past decade as medical device marketing executives, pharmaceutical marketing executives, and other health care executives are using advanced marketing schemes to manipulate doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, and other health care providers. These advanced marketing schemes are often fraudulent and designed to increase drug profits through off label marketing and over use of unsafe medical devices and drugs.
Pharmaceutical representatives, medical device marketing representatives, and marketing executives that use illegal kickbacks and fraud to sell more drugs and medical equipment may be subject to criminal and civil liability for their actions. If you are aware of and have evidence of these illegal kickbacks or fraud schemes, it is important to step up and blow the whistle, not only to avoid potential liability or to potentially collect a large reward for properly reporting the fraud, but because without whistleblowers Billions of dollars are continuing to be stolen each year from Medicare, Medicaid, and taxpayers.
From providing false information to using young attractive and charismatic drug representatives and free gifts, drug companies and medical device companies are using advanced drug marketing schemes and techniques to push physicians to use new drugs and products to obtain as much Medicare money as possible. When these marketing techniques are used fraudulently to push a dangerous drug or to push a drug or medical device for off-label purposes, it can be dangerous for the patient's health as well as can be the basis for a qui tam lawsuit or other lawsuit if the Medicare Marketing Fraud can be documented.
Free gifts, lunches, dinners, and drug samples from drug companies are common place in the World of the successful physician. Sales people and marketing representatives commonly seek to use free meals, drinks, marketing giveaways, and drug samples, to obtain the attention of a medical doctor and these free gifts can often influence a physician to use a new, more expensive, and less safe drug. A recent article, Prescribing Under the Influence By E. Haavi Morreim, thoughtfully discusses the potential influence direct or indirect that free meals and gifts from drug representatives and medical device representatives can have on physicians. These freebies combined with false marketing materials on a drug or medical device can often manipulate a medical doctor into prescribing drugs for off-label purposes, using an inferior or unsafe produce, or over prescribing a drug or medical device.
When this occurs, it can be difficult to determine who all was involved in the fraud and if the physician should have known about the false research materials and fraudulent representation about the drug or received some type of kickback. It is extremely important for physicians to be careful what gifts that take from drug companies, to verify materials given to them by drug companies, and to report fraudulent activities where a drug company is committing fraud or using illegal kickbacks to sell more drugs. It is also vital that physicians report drugs that adverse effects and that are dangerous.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Executives and Medical Device Marketing Executives often use Attractive and Charismatic Marketing Representatives with Advanced Fraudulent Marketing Scripts to Encourage Medicare Fraud Including Off-label Drug Use and Over Prescribing of Medical Devices
Another technique that drug companies use to push their new drugs and implants include hiring attractive and charismatic drug representatives to push physicians through an advanced script that falsely presents a new medication or medical device as better and more safe than it actually is. The drug representatives are usually highly articulate and are able to use the skewed research from the drug marketing departments combined with befriending or flirting with the physician to push the doctor to use their company's new product regardless of safety or expense.
These advanced fraudulent scripts are often presented as well accepted scientific research including cites or references from authentic sounding publications. They are also often well thought out by drug marketing executives and medical device marketing executives then given to and rehearsed by the attractive and charismatic drug representatives or medical device representative for the sole purpose of manipulating the medical doctor into prescribing more of the drug for off-label purposes or the medical device.
It is important that drug representatives, hospital administrators, and physicians that are aware drug companies using fraudulent research and fraudulent scripts to sell drugs to report these fraudulent marketing schemes.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Executives and Medical Device Marketing Executives often use Medical Doctor Profiling to Manipulate Physicians into Prescribing Off-label Drug Use and Over Prescribing of Unsafe Medical Devices for Medicare Patients
Through experience the drug marketing departments have also devised Medical Doctor Profiling schemes that they can use to determine what best motivates a particular physician and use this information combined with advanced marketing techniques to manipulate the physician without the medical doctor even realizing that they are being manipulated. These techniques include understanding that some medical doctors are research oriented while others are politically motivated, financially motivated, career motivated, or relationally motivated. By understanding a medical doctor's predispositions, interests, and motivations, a drug marketing department or medical device marketing department can use or manipulate a medical doctor based on their profiled information. Examples of these drug marketing department and medical device marketing department profiling and manipulations include
Research Motivated Medical Doctor - The Marketing Departments will often create research with skewed data from the drug company to push the research motivated physician that relies strongly on science and research to make their decisions. The marketing representatives will also often invite the research motivated physician to publish in selected publications or to speak at sponsored medical conferences.
Politically and Career Motivated Medical Doctor - Marketing Departments will often create professional and social events, activities, and opportunities to advance the physician's ability to expand their political activities and career.
Relationally Motivated Medical Doctor - Drug marketing departments will not only find marketing representatives that are attractive and charismatic, but will also find drug representative with similar interests as well as hire family members or friends of the relationally motivated physician.
The above techniques and many more are all methods that drug marketing departments and medical device marketing executives use to gain the attention of and influence on medical doctors. These marketing techniques combined with fraudulent marketing research and other fraudulent practices can often work to manipulate a medical doctor into prescribing drugs for off label purposes as well as using unsafe medical devices or over using medical devices.
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Through Medicare Marketing Fraud Whistle Blower Lawsuits, Off Label Medicare Marketing Fraud Qui Tam Lawsuits, and other Medicare Health Care Fraud Lawsuits, hundreds of billions of dollars have been recovered from dishonest pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, health insurance companies, health providers, individuals and organizations that have committed Medicare health care fraud and stolen large amounts of money from the government.
It is extremely important that Whistle Blowers continue to expose fraudulent marketing practices, billing practices and unnecessary treatments that cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Off Label Drug Marketing Fraud Lawyer Jason Coomer works on Off Label Pharmaceutical False Claims Act Lawsuits and commonly works with other Pharmaceutical Medicare Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyers, Medicare Medical Product Marketing Fraud Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawyers, and Medicare Health Care Fraud Whistleblower Lawyers.
Health Care Fraud and Pharmaceutical Off Label Fraud Law Suits (Fraud Costs Tax Payers and Consumers Hundreds of Billions of Dollars)
Health Care Expenses in the United States have increased to be over Two Trillion and a Half ($2,500,000,000,000.00) Dollars each year. This amount continues to rise as pharmaceutical companies continue to make large profits. One of the reasons that the pharmaceutical companies are making such large profits is that they are using aggressive marketing campaigns that not only promote drugs for the medication's intended purpose, but aggressively push doctors to prescribe drugs for off label purposes. From a taxpayer stand point, health care fraud costs taxpayers between $60 billion and $100 billion each year. This cost increases dramatically when you include other forms of health care fraud including insurance fraud and fraud on patients.
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The Department of Justice has been cracking down on Fraud and False Claims including Medicare Fraud, Tricare Fraud, Nursing Home Fraud, Hospice Fraud, and other Health Care Fraud. Below is an update on recent Department of Justice recoveries.
More Than $1 Billion Recovered by Justice Department in Fraud and False Claims in Fiscal Year 2008
WASHINGTON – The United States secured $1.34 billion in settlements and judgments in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008, pursuing allegations of fraud against the federal government, the Justice Department announced today. This brings total recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, to more than $21 billion.
"Now, more than ever, it is crucial that taxpayer dollars aren't lost to fraud," said Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Division. "The billion dollars collected this year is only part of the story. By rooting out fraud and vigorously pursuing it, the Department, with the help of concerned citizens who report fraud in hotline calls and in qui tam complaints, undoubtedly saves the country many times that amount in aborted schemes and misconduct."
Assistant Attorney General Katsas also paid tribute to Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and Representative Howard L. Berman of California who sponsored the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act, the government's primary weapon to fight government fraud. "Without this important legislation strengthening the Act and, in particular, the qui tam provisions which encourage private citizens to uncover government fraud, such recoveries would not have been possible."
Almost 78 percent of this year’s recoveries are associated with suits initiated by private citizens (known as "relators") under the False Claims Act's qui tam provisions. These provisions authorize relators to file suit on behalf of the United States against those who have falsely or fraudulently claimed federal funds. Such cases run the gamut of federally funded programs from Medicare and Medicaid to defense procurement contracts, disaster assistance loans and agricultural subsidies. Persons who knowingly make false claims for federal funds are liable for three times the government’s loss plus a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each claim.
Relators recover 15 to 25 percent of the proceeds of a successful suit if the United States intervenes in the qui tam action, and up to 30 percent if the government declines and the relator pursues the action alone. In fiscal year 2008, relators were awarded $198 million. (This figure does not include relator shares awarded after Sept. 30, 2008.)
As in the last several years, health care accounted for the lion's share of fraud settlements and judgments–$1.12 billion. This number includes both qui tam claims and those initiated by the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services reaped the biggest recoveries, largely attributable to its Medicare program and the federal/state Medicaid program which funds health care for the needy. Recoveries were also made by the Office of Personnel Management which administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Department of Defense for its TRICARE insurance program, the Department of Veterans Affairs and others.
The largest health care recoveries came from pharmaceutical companies and related entities. Settlements with Cephalon Inc., Merck & Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. accounted for more than $640 million. In addition to federal recoveries, these pharmaceutical fraud cases returned $430 million to state Medicaid programs.
The Civil Division’s investigation of the pharmaceutical industry is part of a Department-wide effort. Typical allegations include "off-label" marketing, which is the illegal promotion of drugs or devices that are billed to Medicare and other federal health care programs, for uses that were neither found safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration nor supported by the medical literature; paying kickbacks to physicians, wholesalers and pharmacies to induce drug or device purchases; establishing inflated drug prices knowing that federal health care programs use these prices to reimburse providers, then marketing the "spread" between the federal reimbursement and the provider’s lower cost to induce drug purchases; and knowingly failing to report the company’s true "best price" for a drug to reduce rebates owed to the Medicaid program.
Lilly Pharmaceuticals - $438 million under the False Claims Act In January of 2009, Eli Lilly agreed to pay a total of $1.4 billion to resolve Federal, state and criminal charges in relation to the off-label marketing of the drug Zyprexa. Of this sum, $438 million went to satisfy Federal False Claims Act charges, $361 million was divided among the states, and $515 million was paid as a criminal fine.
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Taketa-Abbott Pharmaceutical Pharmaceutical Products Inc. -- $559,483,560 under the False Claims Act In October 2001, TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. agreed to pay $875 million to resolve criminal charges and civil liabilities in connection with fraudulent drug pricing and marketing of Lupron, a drug sold for the treatment of prostate cancer. Of this amount, $559,483,560 was recovered under the False Claims Act. In addition, TAP pled guilty to a conspiracy to violate the Prescription Drug Marketing Act and paid a $290 million criminal fine, the largest criminal fine ever in a health care fraud prosecution. Under the Lupron scheme, TAP gave doctors kickbacks by providing free samples with the knowledge that the physicians would bill Medicare and Medicaid $500 per dose. At the time the Lupron fraud was discovered, Lupron accounted for 10% of the money spent on prescription drugs under Medicare Part-A. As part of the settlement, TAP entered into what prosecutors called a "sweeping" corporate integrity agreement.
Schering Plough -- $255,000,000 under the False Claims Act In August of 2008, Schering-Plough agreed to pay a total of $435 million to resolve criminal charges and civil liabilities in connection with illegal sales and marketing programs for brain tumor medication Temodar, and Intron-A which is used in the treatment of bladder cancer and hepatitis C. The Schering settlement also covers best price violations related to Claritin RediTabs (an antihistamine), and K-Dur, which is used in the treatment of ulcers.
Serono-- $567,000,000 under the False Claims Act In October of 2005, Serono agreed to pay $704 million to settle a fraud case involving Serostim, a human growth hormone product used to fight AIDS-related wasting. The charges involved kickbacks to doctors for prescribing Serostim, kickbacks to specialist pharmacies for recommending Serostim, illegal off-label marketing of the drug, and non-FDA approved diagnosis equipment designed to spur more Serostim prescriptions. Serostim cost as much as $20,000 for a three-month regime. Of the total $704 million settlement, $567 million is earmarked to settle federal and state civil claims ($305 million federal), with $136.9 million paid as a related criminal fine.
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Through Whistle Blower Lawsuits, Qui Tam Lawsuits, and other Health Care Fraud Lawsuits, Billions of dollars have been recovered from dishonest pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, health providers, individuals and organizations that have committed health care fraud and stolen large amounts of money from the government.
It is extremely important that Whistle Blowers continue to expose fraudulent marketing practices, billing practices and unnecessary treatments that cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Off Label Drug Marketing Fraud Lawyer Jason Coomer works on Off Label Pharmaceutical False Claims Act Lawsuits and commonly works with other Drug Company Whistleblower Lawyers, Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawyers, and Health Care Fraud Whistleblower Lawyers.
If you are a pharmaceutical whistleblower that is aware of fraudulent off label drug marketing practices by a pharmaceutical marketing department, feel free to contact Pharmaceutical Off Label Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer Jason Coomer via e-mail message or our submission form about a potential pharmaceutical whistleblower, off label pharmaceutical marketing fraud, or other pharmaceutical whistleblower qui tam lawsuit.
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If you are aware of a large health care company or individual that is defrauding the United States Government out of millions or billions of dollars, contact Health Care Fraud lawyer Jason Coomer. As a Texas Drug Marketing Fraud Lawyer, he works with other powerful qui tam lawyers that handle large Health Care Government Fraud cases. He works with San Antonio Hospital Formulary Fraud Lawyers, Dallas Hospital Drug Fraud Lawyers, Houston Medicare Off Label Drug Fraud Lawyers, and other Texas Drug Marketing Fraud Lawyers as well as with Health Care Fraud Lawyers throughout the nation to blow the whistle on fraud that hurts the United States.
If you are a pharmaceutical whistleblower that is aware of fraudulent off label drug marketing practices, drug price fixing, drug kickbacks, or other pharmaceutical fraud by a pharmaceutical marketing department, health care provider, or drug company, feel free to contact Pharmaceutical Off Label Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer Jason Coomer via e-mail message or our submission form about a potential pharmaceutical whistleblower, off label pharmaceutical marketing fraud, or other pharmaceutical whistleblower qui tam lawsuit.