The Healthcare Fraud Group takes great pride in its roster of competent lawyers specializing in pharmaceutical fraud cases. Our lawyers have proven their expertise in representing health care fraud relators who possess critical and relevant information about conspiracies such as illegal commissions, pharmaceutical fraud, and overpricing conspiracies and wish to file lawsuits through the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Our team of defense lawyers can ensure that the relators that we represent will be able to acquire their share of the monetary penalties or settlement money from the success of a qui tam lawsuit. This section of the Healthcare Fraud Group website (www.healthcarefraudgroup.com) contains pertinent valuable information for relators of fraudulent activities related to the pharmaceutical industry.
The whistleblower section in the False Claims Act was added to the actual law because of the need for the cooperation of civilians in apprehending potential violations of laws surrounding health care systems such as the pharmaceutical industry. Through a qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit, a civilian can file a case against medical practitioners or providers. They are suspected to be involved in certain fraudulent transactions such as drug class grouping marketing fraud, engagement in illegal commissions and bribes, clinical trial fraud, and GMP fraud, among other related offenses. Our proficient lawyers at Healthcare Fraud have shown their expertise in handling pharmaceutical fraud cases from start to finish. We assure our clients that we will stay beside them from the preparation of the charges to the conviction of the recipients of the lawsuit.
Because of the encouragement provided by the protection of the False Claims Act, a lot of realtors have confidently surfaced and revealed numerous offending drug manufacturers. According to statistics released by the Department of Justice, since the introduction of the qui tam provisions, they have prosecuted more than a hundred cases related to pharmaceutical fraud. The relators have also assisted the government in recovering more than $10 billion worth of funds from the settlement agreements entered by some of the violators of the False Claims Act.
Even with these remarkable developments from the law authorities, pharmaceutical fraud has remained to be on the top list of health care fraud committed by medical providers. Here are four of the most common schemes perpetrated by devious drug manufacturers:
The False Claims Act forbids medical providers and practitioners to engage in illicit business deals that involve commissions and bribes, either in cash or in-kind, primarily because such transactions that involve monetary or object rewards can blur the medical decisions that a medical practitioner has to make. Although he might not intentionally commit blunders that will be harmful to his patients, a doctor that is influenced by the glitter of financial gain might make choices based on the rewards that he will get from the business deal, and completely disregard his patients’ needs or conditions. For instance, if a doctor has kickbacks deal with a drug or equipment manufacturer, he will be tempted to issue or use medication or device from which he can gain more rewards, regardless if the patient’s condition warrants such medication or device. These actions are detrimental to the lives of the patients as well as for publicly-funded (Medicare, Medicaid, among others) and commercial health care insurance programs.
Here are some of the different examples of commission-based fraud devised by drug manufacturers:
– Sham Drug Clinical Studies: In this scheme, drug manufacturers enlist doctors to participate in a purported clinical study of a drug and persuade them to issue the said drug as part of a clinical study to determine the efficacy of a new drug. The outcome of the sham clinical study has no value whatsoever, and it only served as a front for drug marketing and usage.
– Invitation To Speak in Seminar or Training Events: In this scheme, drug manufacturers hide the commission rewards to doctors by hiring them as speakers on seminars or training held by the companies. Whether the seminars or training happen or not in reality, the doctors are paid purported “professional fees” for their participation in the said events.
– Scholarships and Research Privileges: In this scheme, drug manufacturers give special educational or research privileges to doctors and other medical providers in exchange for a business deal for them to prefer the use of the drug for their medical practice.
– Drug Investigations: In this scheme, drug manufacturers organize drug investigation assemblies, wherein the manufacturer will invite a certain number of medical practitioners to get their feedback on the possible other uses and effects of certain drug medications. The marketing staff of the manufacturer usually do all they can to serve to the fancies of the guests of these drug investigations such as providing them with luxurious perks and amenities
– Drug Evaluation Assemblies: In this scheme, drug manufacturers invite medical practitioners such as doctors to participate in the evaluation of a certain drug, such as determining whether it effectively cures an ailment, side effects, and other things. Same as in the drug investigation assemblies mentioned above, employees of the manufacturing company are instructed to do all they can to provide the needs of the attendees, such as paying them “professional fees,” giving them gifts, etc.
Off-label marketing, when misinterpreted by medical practitioners and patients, is a hazardous and dangerous practice. Off-label promotion of a drug means marketing it as part of a class of drugs, meaning a new or unpopular drug is marketed as having the same therapeutic effects as the other drugs of the same group. This is potentially harmful when not understood clearly by the doctor or medical practitioner because even if the same drugs are part of the same group and might have similar medical effects, there is still a possibility that they have certain differences that are not declared by the drug manufacturer. For example, even though the antibiotics ampicillin and amoxicillin are from the same class of drugs, they have different potency against bacteria.
The Healthcare Fraud Group’s team of capable lawyers has dealt with cases of off-label marketing and has shown expertise in handling this type of pharmaceutical fraud. We are committed to helping clients sue drug manufacturers who conducted misguiding marketing of their drugs, resulting to considerable damage or effect to the client, such as lessened effectiveness of the drug or physical harm.
Clinical Trial Fraud
Statistical studies have shown that the results of clinical trials conducted by drug manufacturers have been questionable as they have always yielded results that are favorable to the drugs or medications manufactured by the pharmaceutical company who commissioned the clinical trial. This might happen due to several factors, such as the clinical trial design has been made to favor the drug, or there are inconsistencies in the interpretation of the clinical trial data. Medical experts also state that these inconsistent results are more common in clinical trials that only measure if a drug has offered relief to the symptoms of an illness, and not a measurement of whether the medication has cured the illness.
Our team of talented lawyers at Healthcare Fraud Group is more than willing to act as legal counsel of realtors who can provide information about a drug or medication that has been erroneously permitted by the FDA to be released in the market due to inconsistent and fabricated clinical trial results.
GMP Fraud puts into perspective possible deficiencies or incorrect practices during the time that a drug is created by the drug manufacturer. GMP stands for Current Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines. The laws included in the GMP are prescribed by Congress to watch over the possible manufacturing violations that might be harmful to the patients, such as contamination, defects on efficacy, and other things. These guidelines required drug manufacturers to have standardized and regulated facilities, personnel, manufacturing controls, drug records, and other manufacturing requirements. Some GMP violations can be directly connected to a False Claims Act case.
For a consultation about the different pharmaceutical fraud schemes covered by the provisions of the False Claims Act, you can contact our lawyers at Healthcare Fraud Group at 888-402-454.