Four whistleblowers were instrumental in helping the federal government recover $422.5M from Novartis, an East Hanover, NJ-based pharmaceutical company. Under the federal False Claims Act, the whistleblowers are entitled to receive bounties of approximately $25 million.
The whistleblowers provided information to the Justice Department that Novartis was selling its anti-epileptic drug Trileptal and five other drugs “off label.” Under federal law, once a drug is approved by regulators, a drug manufacturer cannot market the drug for unspecified (“off label”) use. Novartis agreed to pay $185 million in a criminal fine and forfeiture, and $237.5 million to resolve civil allegations of unlawfully marketing the six drugs.
The False Claims Act provides a “bounty” to whistleblowers who provide credible information to the government that it is being defrauded. If you suspect your company is defrauding the federal government, you need to contact an attorney who specializes in whistleblower protection law.