Two Philadelphia ophthalmologists filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a pharmaceutical manufacturer for illegally offering inducements to physicians who prescribed their products.
According to the lawsuit, a representative for the manufacturer offered business consulting and marketing assistance to physicians who "showed their appreciation" by prescribed the company's expensive dry eye treatment drugs. Another representative allegedly offered to enroll one of the ophthalmologists in the organization's speakers' bureau if she was a "really good writer of prescriptions."
The ophthalmologists filed the suit under the False Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue on behalf of the government when they have evidence that taxpayers have been defrauded. Because prescriptions cost the government billions each year through Medicare and Medicaid, the actions of the pharmaceutical manufacturer qualified as defrauding taxpayers.
The pharmaceutical manufacturer agreed to pay $13 million to settle the lawsuit. The ophthalmologists who filed the suit may claim up to 30 percent of the settlement amount. The rest will go to the federal government and the 19 states involved in the lawsuit. Chris Mondics "Allergan settles whistleblower lawsuit filed by two area doctors," www.philly.com (Jun. 30, 2017).