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Novartis Reaches $390 Million Settlement in Whistleblower Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, a whistleblower alleged the drug company paid illegal and improper kickbacks to various pharmacies in exchange for the extra promotion of its prescription medication. The suit was filed by a former employee of Novartis, who accused the company of providing major incentives and discounts to pharmacies connected to Exjade, Myfortic and other Novartis prescription drugs. As part of the settlement, Novartis admits to no wrongdoing and simply says the company remains committed to conducting its business ethically and responsibly.

Two other defendants in the case, BioScript Inc. and Accredo Health Group, Inc., had already agreed to settlements for $15 million and $60 million, respectively. They also cooperated in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Novartis. According to people familiar with the case, it had only been a matter of time before the company decided to settle rather than allow the case to go to court.

Whistleblower rights and the False Claims Act

Under qui tam provisions in the False Claims Act, private citizens of the United States have the right to file lawsuits on behalf of the federal government. As a reward for catching businesses and organizations in their wrongdoing, whistleblowers may earn anywhere between 15 and 30 percent of the funds recovered in the case.

For more than 35 years, Steve Kardell of Whistleblower Law for Managers at Clouse Dunn has protected corporate executives from misdirected internal investigations, while simultaneously pursuing damages through whistleblower laws. Attorney Kardell’s approach has secured major settlements for clients who were unnecessarily made the targets of difficult and draining internal investigations. For further guidance on conducting comprehensive internal investigations, contact Steve, a skilled Dallas attorney, at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

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  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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