Medtronic and Pfizer Medicaid Fraud Cases

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The Medtronic and Pfizer Medicaid fraud cases are amongst the most recognized examples of a  Medical fraud investigation set in motion by a whistleblower. Both of these Medicaid fraud cases demonstrate how whistleblowers can effectively induce a medical fraud investigation as a result of filing a whistleblower lawsuit.

Medtronic Whistleblower Lawsuit

The Medtronic whistleblower lawsuit was filed by a former employee of Medtronic, one of the largest medical device makers in the U.S. The whistleblower contended that in recent years the company had spent millions of dollars on consulting contracts and a series of other payments to doctors and prominent surgeons in the spinal-implant division in order to retain the doctors’ business and ensure that they used Medtronic devices. The Medtronic whistleblower lawsuit accuses Medtronic of distributing unwarranted Medicare money and kickbacks to over 130 surgeons who promoted off-label use of FDA-approved medical devices and filed Medicare claims in direct violation of the False Claims Act. Specifics that were uncovered after a thorough medical fraud investigation include details of a prominent surgeon in Wisconsin who was paid $400,000 a year by Medtronic for a consulting contract which only required eight days of work. Other internal Medtronic documents filed as part of the suit provide details of the intense campaign that device makers waged to win doctors’ loyalty. The Medtronic whistleblower lawsuit was settled in 2006 when Medtronic agreed to pay $40 million in damages whilst maintaining that they had not been responsible for any wrongdoing.

Pfizer Whistleblower Lawsuit

The Pfizer whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2003 by Gulf War veteran and former Pifzner sales representative, Kopchinski who earned more then $51.5 million dollars in whistleblower rewards. After filing a qui tam lawsuit Kopchinski encouraged the government to implement a medical fraud investigation into Pfizer, the corporate giant and largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

Pfizer was accused of encouraging promotion of the painkiller Bextra in unsafe doses beyond the level for which it had been sanctioned and had been specifically denied approval by the FDA due to serious health concerns. Medicaid fraud whistleblower, Kopchinski and others claimed that Pfizer fully sanctioned off –label promotions on various drugs even after receiving warning letters. Kopchinski and five other whistleblowers involved in the Pfizer whistleblower lawsuit earned more than $102 million in payments from the U.S. government under the False Claims Act through which individuals can gain financial rewards for exposing fraudulent activity. In 2009 the company paid $2.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties after pleading guilty to the felony charge for promoting Bextra and twelve other drugs for doses and uses that were unapproved.

If you know someone involved in Medicaid fraud and want to see that they are held accountable for their actions, a whistleblower attorney at our personal injury law firm can offer their legal help. Please fill out an online form and learn more about your legal rights and the consequences of filing suit.