We are pleased to share with you the news from February and March that McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt secured landmark decisions in two large health care fraud lawsuits against Pfizer and Teva and a third in the case against Bayer for Essure where we are co-counsel.
The Pfizer Lawsuit
The complaint against Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drug companies, relates to its marketing of Vfend. Vfend is used to treat invasive fungal infections and Pfizer sells hundreds of millions of dollars of the anti fungal medication every year. The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer marketed the drug for treatments not approved by the FDA (known as off-label marketing) and improperly paid doctors to prescribe the drug (otherwise known as kickbacks). Because of its acts, the complaint contends that the federal and state governments should receive compensation for the money wrongfully paid out by the federal healthcare programs. McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt represents whistleblowers in the case and the court order allowed most allegations to proceed to discovery.
The Lawsuit Against Teva
Teva is also among the top drug companies in the world. The whistleblower complaint against Teva relates to their marketing of Azilect and Copaxone. Sales of Copaxone, which
is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, exceed $1 billion every year in the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that the company paid physicians to write prescriptions for Azilect and Copaxone through its speaker programs, even though it hadn’t created any new material to present in years. The lawsuit contends that in reality these payments were kickbacks. The Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) makes it illegal to offer “remuneration” to “induce” a person to “recommend” the purchase of a drug covered by a federal health care program.
The Lawsuit Against Bayer for Essure
Bayer manufactures and sells a non-surgical birth control device called Essure. Our law firm is co-counsel representing several women who allege in lawsuits that they have suffered major complications as a result of the medical device. In a judicial ruling in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in late March, the Court allowed two of the claims in the lawsuits to proceed to discovery. Thousands of women online have reported complications from Essure and these Philadelphia lawsuits are the first in the country to proceed past Bayer’s claims that they should be dismissed under a legal doctrine called preemption.