Endo Pharmaceuticals recently settled a lawsuit with the state of Texas to the tune of $13.5 million, resolving allegations that the company engaged in illegal marketing practices for its drug Lidoderm.
The lawsuit claimed Endo purposefully misrepresented the approved uses, safety and efficacy of the drug when marketing it to the Texas Medicaid program. This would be a form of illegal promotion. From 2002 to 2006, Lidoderm’s only approved uses were for treatment of a shingles-related pain.
In addition, the lawsuit alleged Endo intentionally withheld findings from a series of five clinical trials that the drug was not any more effective than the placebo control for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain and neuropathic pain. Instead, the company chose to promote less-rigorous and in-depth studies to improve off-label usage.
Finally, the lawsuit alleged Endo routinely searched for doctors who were not likely to prescribe the drug for its approved uses, and shipped samples of the drug to executives as a means of pushing for preferential treatment for the drug (illegally).
Healthcare fraud a massive federal expense
Healthcare fraud has been a major focus of the federal government for several years now because of how much money it costs the United States. Studies indicate billions of dollars are lost to healthcare fraud every year, and it’s often difficult for investigators to uncover fraudulent schemes without the assistance of whistleblowers from the wrongdoing company.
If you have information about a fraudulent scheme operated by a healthcare organization for which you work, consult a skilled Dallas attorney at Kardell Law Group to learn about the whistleblower protections available to you.