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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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