Medical doctors, pharmaceutical representatives and other healthcare professionals may be able to collect awards if they report valuable information and proof to regulators that a drug company is knowingly selling ineffective or dangerous medications to the public.
According to the Corporate Whistleblower Center, these rewards can be quite large. In fact, in a recent case, a whistleblower with a pharmaceutical drug company received nearly $10 million as part of a $67 million settlement the U.S. Department of Justice reached with the drug manufacturer. The case stemmed from allegations that the company misled doctors and other healthcare professionals about the effectiveness of its drug in treating patients with a form of lung cancer. However, there was little to no evidence that the drug could actually help most of those patients.
Making a real impact
In many ways, whistleblowers can not only make enforcement actions more efficient and effective, but they can also save lives. Drug companies and medical device companies often release dangerous or defective products into the healthcare marketplace, with devastating results for patients.
One of the most well-known examples is related to metal hip implants, which physicians began introducing to patients just over 15 years ago. The implants, which usually involve two pieces of metal rubbing against each other, can cause serious health complications for those who have them.
In addition to making medical professionals aware of the opportunity to serve as whistleblowers, the Corporate Whistleblower Center, watchdog group, urges individuals with information to speak with an attorney before going to the government, media or other places with their complaints.
For further guidance as you consider serving as a whistleblower in the healthcare industry, meet with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.