Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet Pharma, The New "Fraud Kings" | The Path To Ignomy

Pharma, on a percentage of all False Claims Act payments basis, now more than doubles defense contractors (25% v. 11%), in corrupt practices. Do go read the rest of it -- in all its gory detail -- over at

. . . .The drug industry has now become the biggest defrauder of the federal government, as determined by payments it has made for violations of the False Claims Act (FCA), surpassing the defense industry, which had long been the leader, according to a new Public Citizen study released today.

The study found that pharmaceutical cases accounted for at least 25 percent of all federal FCA payouts over the past decade, compared with 11 percent by the defense industry.

The fraud results were a key finding from a Public Citizen analysis of all major pharmaceutical company civil and criminal settlements on the state and federal levels since 1991 and found that the frequency with which the pharmaceutical industry has allegedly violated federal and state laws has increased at an alarming rate. Of the 165 pharmaceutical industry settlements comprising $19.8 billion in penalties during the past 20 years, 73 percent of the settlements (121) and 75 percent of the dollar amount ($14.8 billion) have occurred during the past five years.

Many of the infractions, and the single largest category of financial penalties, stemmed from the practice of off-label promotion of pharmaceuticals -- the illegal promotion of a drug for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Off-label promotion can be prosecuted as a criminal offense because of the potential for serious adverse health consequences to patients from such promotional activities. Another major category of federal financial penalties was purposely overcharging for drugs under various federal programs, which constitutes a violation of the FCA. . . .

Public Citizen’s study also found that more than one-half of the industry’s fines were paid by just a few companies – GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough. These four companies accounted for more than half of all financial penalties over the past two decades, paying $10.5 billion in fines collectively. . . .

More here, from earlier today. 'Tis truly disheartening.

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