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AG announces largest-ever health care fraud settlement

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Indiana will receive its largest-ever health care fraud settlement as part of a $2.2 billion agreement with Johnson & Johnson for illegal off-label marketing and kickbacks to promote Risperdal, Invega and other drugs, according to a statement from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

The refunds are the result of whistleblower lawsuits initiated in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and joined by Indiana, other states and the federal government. The settlement resolves claims that the company and related companies defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. Johnson & Johnson will plead guilty to a single count of drug misbranding.
 
In total, the Indiana Medicaid program will receive $16.9 million for its state share of the settlements – the largest amount Indiana has received in such a settlement in an illegal drug-marketing case, according to the AG’s office. Counting federal recovery specific to Indiana, the two settlements total $44.5 million in combined federal and state money for the Indiana Medicaid program, the largest such amount the program has received.

Risperdal is approved to treat symptoms in patients with mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Invega replaced Risperdal when its patent expired. The lawsuits alleged J&J companies engaged in a pattern of illegal payment to doctors and long-term care pharmacies to induce them to promote Risperdal and other J&J drugs instead of less-expensive generic drugs for unapproved uses, such as for pediatric patients or elderly patients suffering from dementia.

The $16.9 million settlement boosts the attorney general’s state-level recovery of Medicaid funds through settlements of lawsuits against drug companies to nearly $54 million since January 2009, according to the statement.

More information about how whistleblowers can file qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act is available here.
 

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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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