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35 states file antitrust lawsuit against drug companies alleging unlawful marketing of addiction treatment

whistleblower

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia are accusing British drugmaker Indivior of unlawfully manipulating the marketplace to maximize profits when it allegedly conspired to keep less expensive, generic versions of the narcotic addiction treatment Suboxone off the market, California’s attorney general announced. The states filed an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Indivior and MonoSol Rx, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical dissolving-film company. In 2002, Indivior was granted exclusive rights to market Suboxone tablets until 2009. When the patent expired, the attorneys general claim that Indivior worked out a deal with MonoSol ... Read More

Cop’s False Claims Act Lawsuit Could Have Ripple Throughout Law Enforcement

Police Car Lights

The U.S. Justice Department has called on the federal court in Boston to reconsider a False Claims Act lawsuit filed against the Brockton, Mass., Police Department by a police detective who alleges he was fired in retaliation for assisting someone who was falsely arrested. Former homicide detective Ken Williams, who has been with the Brockton Police Department for 15 years, filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act in 2012. The Justice Department investigated Mr. Williams’ allegations but declined to intervene. The lawsuit was then unsealed and a federal judge dismissed some of its key allegations. ... Read More

Women sues weight loss supplement manufacturer over serious liver injury

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Karen Jacobs-Poles, a nurse at a Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, ate right and exercised but she just couldn’t shake the extra 30 pounds of baby weight she gained over the years. Then one night a commercial for Slimquick caught her eyes. The berry-flavored drink-mix supplement containing green tea extract claimed to be “the only weight loss supplement to help women lose up to 25 pounds.” Jacobs-Poles was sold. “I’d heard a lot about green tea and berries, and how they help your metabolism,” she told Fox News. “I thought it sounded great.” Jacob-Poles’ experience with Slimquick started off as a ... Read More

Kindred Health Care Pays Record $3 Million For Failure To Comply With Integrity Agreement

whistleblower reward justice

Kindred Health Care Inc., the nation’s largest provider of hospice services, home health care services, and other post-acute care, has paid a $3 million penalty to the U.S. for its failure to comply with a Corporate Integrity Agreement imposed after a previous False Claims Act settlement. The penalty is the largest the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General has ever levied against a company for its failure to meet the requirements of a Corporate Integrity Agreement, which are designed to prevent companies from defrauding federal agencies and programs. According to the HHS, the record penalty stemmed ... Read More

Doctors Say Quebec Patient’s Temporary IVC Filter Can’t Be Removed

IVC filter

Recently, Health Canada issued a warning over inferior vena cava (IVC) blood clot filters that are inserted into the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. The IVC filters are designed to catch blood clots, but have been known to migrate, tilt, perforate the vein and other organs, and fracture, causing metal wires to work their way through the bodies of patients. John Boehmer, a Gatineau, Quebec, resident, had a temporary IVC filter inserted following a surgical procedure. Eight months later, surgeons attempted to remove the filter, but failed after they discovered it was lodged in the wall of his vein. ... Read More

FDA approves Bayer’s Kyleena IUD

mirena IUD

Pharmaceutical company Bayer may be embroiled in lawsuits over its permanent birth control device Essure, but that isn’t keeping the company from pushing yet another contraceptive device. The company announced that it has just won Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Kyleena, an intrauterine device, or IUD, designed to prevent pregnancy in women for up to five years. The device is similar to Bayer’s currently marketed IUDs, including Mirena and Skyla. All three are T-shaped devices that release a small amount of the hormone levonorgestrel. Actavis Plc, now known as Allergan Plc., won approval for the hormonal IUD Liletta ... Read More

Experimental diabetes drug may increase ketoacidosis risk

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Sanofi and Lexicon have teamed up on the development of a new diabetes drug that can treat both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The new medication, known chemically as sotagliflozin, is in a class of diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors, which also includes the brand name medications Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga and Jardiance. Most type 2 diabetes medications work through the pancreas and liver. SGLT2 inhibitors work differently, blocking the absorption of glucose in the kidneys, allowing patients to excrete excess glucose through their urine. Sotagliflozin also works by targeting SGLT1 inhibitors located in the intestinal tract. SGLT2 ... Read More

Children’s car seat recall announced by Evenflo; 27 complaints of safety harness loosening

Recall - car seat, Evenflo

Evenflo, a manufacturer of juvenile products, has announced a children’s car seat recall impacting nearly 30,000 combination booster seats. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recalled booster seats feature a defective harness that may become loosened without a caregiver’s knowledge. The children’s car seat recall involves specific Evolve 3-in-1 seats manufactured prior to Feb. 9, 2016. The model numbers of the U.S.’s recalled seats are 34411700 and 34411741, while Canada’s recalled seats feature model number 34411700C. Although Evenflo has not received any reports of injuries, there have been 27 complaints from consumers claiming that their children have ... Read More

California Nursing Home Operator, Execs to Pay U.S. $30 Million For Fraudulent Medicare Billings

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

A California-based nursing home operator and two of its executives have agreed to pay the U.S. $30 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit accusing the company of billing Medicare and other government health care programs for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services. Under the terms of the agreement announced Monday, North American Health Care Inc. of Orange County, Calif., will pay the U.S. $28.5 million. The company’s chairman of the board, John Sorenson, will pay $1 million toward the settlement, and senior vice president of Reimbursement Analysis, Margaret Gelvezon, will pay $500,000. North American Health Care is a private, ... Read More

Illinois Home Health care Company Owner Pays $6.8 Million, Faces Prison Time For Kickback Scheme

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The owner of an Illinois-based home health care company admitted in federal court last week that he paid illegal kickbacks to 20 medical directors to acquire referrals of elderly Medicare patients. Between December 2006 and September 2014, Romy Macasaet Jr., owner of Home Bound Healthcare Inc. of Lemont, Ill., paid more than $789,000 in bribes to the medical directors who sent Medicare patients his way in exchange for the money. The illegal kickbacks resulted in Mr. Macasaet receiving Medicare reimbursements worth millions of dollars, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Zachary Fardon. Mr. Macasaet used various agreements ... Read More