After a big U.S. Justice Department settlement--after the speeches, the press releases, the commentary--attention invariably turns to the people who first blew the whistle. It's no different in the case of Johnson & Johnson, which this week announced a $2.2 billion settlement and misdemeanor plea in a longstanding probe of its Risperdal marketing.
The latest report on healthcare fraud settlements is out, this time from Taxpayers Against Fraud. And this time, as usual, Big Pharma features prominently. The anti-fraud group regularly totes up whistleblower settlements with federal and state governments, and we all know that drugmaker payments account for billions.
Another Chinese whistleblower has targeted Big Pharma. This time, the bribery allegations involve Eli Lilly, and 30 million yuan in purported kickbacks to Chinese doctors. That's about $4.9 million, or 1% of the amount GlaxoSmithKline allegedly spread around, but if the previous pattern holds, China's government watchdogs will officially follow up on the media report.
Big Pharma, beware of your former (and possibly current) employees in China. Novartis is the latest drugmaker to be fingered for bribery by an anonymous whistleblower, just a few days after Sanofi got the same treatment. And Chinese officials say they're stepping up their pharma investigation even further.
Sanofi has joined GlaxoSmithKline under China's official corruption microscope. According to the state news service Xinhua, authorities are investigating allegations that the French drugmaker bribed more than 500 doctors.
Sanofi has joined GlaxoSmithKline in facing bribery allegations in China. According to a Chinese newspaper, the whistleblower says Sanofi paid 1.7 million yuan in bribes to 503 doctors around the country.
The allegations in a recently released lawsuit against Cephalon suggest that company was particularly obscene about pushing off-label uses, because at the time it was operating under a Corporate Integrity Agreement forged after getting caught for similar problems a few years earlier.
Two former Warner Chilcott reps have blown the whistle. In a False Claims Act lawsuit unsealed last week, the ex-salespeople detail a long series of allegations, including kickbacks, privacy violations and off-label shenanigans.
One Amgen whistleblower is balking at the government's off-label marketing settlement--but the federal court is having none of it. Dr. Joseph Piacentile, who worked undercover to gather evidence for the prosecutors' case, claims he and other whistleblowers have had no say-so in the settlement, Bloomberg reports. And he wants his day in court.
In Hollywood, when undercover agents are planning to secretly record a meeting, there's often a scene meant to engage the audience's fear and sympathy: "Are you wearing a wire?" someone accuses, usually someone armed with a gun or enormous fists.