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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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