“Salix decided to resolve the government’s investigation into its sham speaker program payments after being confronted with a mountain of evidence provided, in large part, by our clients,” said James J. McEldrew, III, a Partner at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, and Past President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. “These practices could not have been stopped without a tremendous team effort including our clients, who were determined to do the right thing for American patients and taxpayers, and the Justice Department attorneys, who worked tirelessly on the case.”
McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt worked closely with Joseph Trautwein of Joseph Trautwein & Associates who represented one of several whistleblowers in the case.
The Salix lawsuit is one of several filed by McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt attorneys concerning allegations that pharmaceutical companies engaged in the payment of sham “speaker” fees. McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt continues to pursue separate lawsuits against Novartis, Pfizer and Teva seeking the recovery of billions of dollars in payments made by Medicare and Medicaid over the past decade. These lawsuits are captioned U.S. ex rel. Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Case No. 11 Civ. 0071 (S.D.N.Y.), U.S. ex rel. Brown et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., Case No. 05-6795 (E.D. Pa) and U.S. ex rel. Arnstein et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al. Case No. 13 Civ. 3702 (S.D.N.Y.).
The Anti-Kickback Statute makes it unlawful to knowingly offer or pay any remuneration (whether in cash or in kind) in exchange for the referral of business paid for by a federal government healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b). The False Claims Act rewards individuals reporting violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute through a qui tam lawsuit with rewards of between 15 and 30 percent of the government’s recovery.
McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt represents whistleblowers throughout the United States and abroad reporting corporate wrongdoing to the U.S. Government through reward programs created by the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, and the IRS Whistleblower Program. Through these laws, our attorneys help clients report health care fraud, government contract fraud, securities fraud, delayed motor vehicle recalls, and tax evasion, among other things. The firm is led by James J. McEldrew, III and Eric L. Young. Jim McEldrew is a trial attorney and Past President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. Eric L. Young is a whistleblower attorney with a distinguished track record of success in whistleblower cases. Eric has represented whistleblower clients in cases against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, in addition to having secured the first-ever whistleblower reward paid by the IRS Whistleblower Office in 2011.
Joseph Trautwein has more than sixteen years experience in complex civil litigation including twelve years of service with the U.S. Department of Justice. He was Assistant U.S. Attorney in the civil division of the Philadelphia office until 2010, focusing primarily on health care and defense contractor fraud. Trautwein continues to pursue corporate wrongdoing on behalf of consumers and the government.