Articles Posted in False Claims act

A new scheme has entered the pharmaceutical industry involving what the courts have now deemed as illegal payoffs in which drug-makers holding patents, sue generic manufacturers then settle the case paying millions to keep them from making the less expensive version.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Cephalon was sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission for the so called “reverse payment” settlements the company struck with competing drug makers to stop them from making generic versions of the narcolepsy drug Provigil.

The problem  with companies doing this, says the FTC is that it harms consumers through delayed entry of generic drugs into the market, which are far less expensive. In some cases where the drugs were ultimately billed to Medicare, Pharma companies, including Cephalon have been charged with fraud under The False Claims Act. This is because when the generic drug is kept from the market, Medicare, which is your tax dollar, pays a much higher price for the medications.  There is a False Claims Act case against Cephalon that is pending at this time.

Commerzbank AG has agreed to pay $1.45 billion to settle sanctions actions for doing business with Iran, Sudan  and its failure to have adequate money laundering controls, the DOJ and New York financial regulator said Thursday.

The bank “concealed hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions prohibited by U.S. sanctions laws on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese businesses, the prosecution agreement states. At one point, the bank was concerned that transactions with Iran would be revealed, so in 2003, it created a policy entitled “Routing Instructions Iranian banks for USD payments”. The policy instructed employees to “under no circumstances mention the Iranian background in the cover order.”  By concealing these payment details prevented the U.S. from identifying or stopping the transactions that involved sanctioned entities.

In 1995, President Clinton issued an Executive Order finding that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran constituted an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the U.S. and imposed comprehensive trade and financial sanctions on the country. In 1997 President Clinton imposed a trade embargo on Sudan which prohibited virtually all trade and investment activities between the U.S. and Sudan.

A federal False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who was an employee at a plant owned by DuPont, says he saw that the company was leaking “potentially tons” of carcinogenic gas. The plant is located next to a residential neighborhood and primary school. Continue reading

Symantec Corporation the largest maker of computer security software may be required to pay as much as $145 million in damages relating to A Department of Justice investigation  into whether the company failed to comply with government contracting rules concerning pricing. Continue reading