On October 30, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that
the state had won $19.9 million in a False Claims Act settlement
from Novartis for its unlawful marketing of an exczema
treatment for infants, in order to bill medicaid. Texas'
largest single recovery came earlier this year, in a whistleblower
action brought by Allen Jones against Johnson & Johnson.
Jones alleged that Johnson & Johnson had marketed the
antipsychotic drug Risperdal for unapproved purposes, particularly
for the treatment, in order to bill medicaid. The
whistleblower case settled in the middle of trial for $158 million.
The information developed in both of these cases is expected
to lead to vary large recoveries by other state governments, and by
the federal governments well, since the unlawful marketing was
nationwide. Tragically, in both of these cases children were
exposed to serious side effects from medication that had not been
proven effective for them.
It is not an accident that Texas was the first state to win a
recovery in both of these cases, even though other state medicaid
programs had paid substantial amounts for the same medications.
Since at least 2007, The Texas Attorney General's office has
followed a policy of aggressively pursuing false claims cases
involving the medicaid system. The Texas Civil Medicaid Fraud
division has grown from seven to 33 lawyers in the past few
years. According to Public Citizen, a watchdog group,
Texas has recovered more than that $1.2 billion over the last
decade in actions against drug manufacturers and other players in
the health care industry, the largest amount for any state.
Texas's decision to aggressively pursue False Claims Act
cases deters drug manufacturers from engaging in unlawful
marketing, and is also good fiscal practice: Every dollar the
state recovers reduces the cost to taxpayers of its Medicaid
program. The budget expense of the additional staff
attorney position has paid for itself many times over.
Texas' success in these actions has resulted in both improved
medical care for its citizens, and lower costs for its
taxpayers. We are hopeful that other states will follow its
If you have discovered evidence of government fraud,
contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the
whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal
protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal
laws. The attorneys of Berger & Montague are nationally
recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a
decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more
information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the
form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.