On October 29, 2015, pharmaceutical manufacturer Warner Chilcott agreed to plead guilty to a felony healthcare fraud scheme and to pay $125 million to resolve kickback allegations. Seeger Weiss LLP represented the two former Warner Chilcott drug sales representatives who blew the whistle and brought this historic healthcare fraud whistleblower lawsuit forward.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the company’s marketing scheme involved paying kickbacks to health care professionals to prescribe its drugs as well as filling out and submitting fraudulent prior authorization requests to evade Medicare and Medicaid formulary restrictions—also a violation of patients’ privacy protections under HIPAA. In addition to Warner Chilcott pleading guilty, DOJ also announced today the indictments of former company president Carl Reichel and district managers Timothy Garcia and Landon Eckles. On October 27, 2015, DOJ filed an indictment against Rita Luthra, a Massachusetts physician. In July 2015, district manager Jeffrey Podolosky also pled guilty.
“Our clients were heroic in coming forward with these allegations and assisting DOJ with its investigation,” said relators’ counsel, Seeger Weiss founding partner Stephen A. Weiss. “It’s deeply gratifying that their perseverance and dedication has resulted in these criminal indictments and the end of Warner Chilcott’s corrupt practices. They each actively cooperated with the government’s criminal investigation for many months, helping to confirm just how important and valuable the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act are in rooting out and bringing an end to corporate fraud.”
The civil settlement was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sonya Rao and Susan Poswistilo of Ortiz’s Civil Division and Trial Counsel Colin Huntley of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.
About Seeger Weiss LLP
Founded in 1999, Seeger Weiss LLP has successfully represented relators in a myriad of qui tam “whistleblower” proceedings. A trial firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Seeger Weiss litigates each case as if it is going to go the distance. We are determined to level the playing field and give a voice for our clients. The results we achieve are characteristic of our unwavering commitment to obtain justice for our clients and our belief in the system that provides for it.
Download Warner Chilcott Settlement Agreement
Download Carl Reichel Indictment
Stephen A. Weiss