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Xarelto bleeding victim fights drugmakers’ motion to throw out case

A man suing Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer over Xarelto bleeding risks pushed back against the drug companies after they asked the judge overseeing the case in Philadelphia to drop the case because his prescribing doctor testified he did not read Xarelto’s safety label. Daniel Russell argued that the focus should not be on that doctor – Dr. Riple Hansalia – because he was simply continuing a prescription made by another physician – Dr. Ihab Girgis – the day before. Thus, Dr. Girgis should be considered the relevant prescriber under the law, Russell argued. Furthermore, Dr. Hansalia may ... Read More

Oklahoma Ambulance Provider Settles Whistleblower Kickback Allegations

An Oklahoma ambulance service provider will pay $300,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by engaging in an unlawful kickback scheme with a former Texas contractor. According to Tulsa World, a whistleblower lawsuit provided the basis for allegations lodged by federal officials. The complaint alleged that Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), its former president and CEO Stephen Williamson, and contractor Paramedics Plus LLC controlled a slush fund that they used to pay out more than $20 million in kickbacks, including $50,000 or more for Mr. Williamson’s personal benefit. The State ... Read More

J&J profits despite claims its talcum powder causes cancer

Johnson & Johnson told investors that it expects its 2018 sales to come in between $81 billion and $81.8 billion, an increase from its previous forecast of $80.6 billion to $81.4 billion. The company made the announcement after reporting first-quarter sales were up 12.6 percent year-over-year, to $20 billion, thanks in large part to its pharmaceutical arm. While the news is positive for investors, what is not worth celebrating is the company’s sagging baby-care product line, which includes the consumer health care giant’s staple product Johnson’s Baby Powder, which has been rife with bad press due mounting lawsuits alleging its talcum ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $9.68 Million From Oxygen Supplier

Federal officials praised a whistleblower whose False Claims Act lawsuit against a Florida-based medical equipment supplier recovered $9.68 million for Medicare. U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown of the Eastern District of Texas said its multi-million-dollar settlement agreement with Rotech Healthcare Inc., a supplier of respiratory equipment and portable oxygen, resolves allegations that Rotech knowingly billed Medicare for portable oxygen supplies it provided to Medicare beneficiaries who didn’t need or use them. Rotech also admitted that it billed Medicare for oxygen supplies regardless of whether the supplies were delivered to beneficiaries. Medicare covers rentals of portable and stationary oxygen equipment for up ... Read More

Women seek centralization of Taxotere hair loss lawsuits

About 350 women suing Sanofi-Aventis and other drug companies for failing to warn about the risk of permanent hair loss from the breast cancer drug Taxotere are calling for the New Jersey Supreme Court to designate the lawsuits as a multicounty litigation under Superior Court Judge James F. Hyland in Middlesex County. Centralizing the lawsuits was recommended because of the large number of cases and the common issues in their claims. Centralized management would conserve judicial resources, provide all those involved with the benefits of coordinated discovery, and minimize duplication, the petition states. The vast majority of the state lawsuits are ... Read More

Georgia Whistleblower Exposes $3.2 Million Kickback Scheme

A whistleblower who sued a group of Atlanta-area orthopedic and anesthesia providers for their alleged participation in an illegal kickback scheme has helped the U.S. government recover $3.2 million for Medicare. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the whistleblower lawsuit led to a settlement agreement between the federal government and Georgia Bone & Joint; Summit Orthopaedic Surgery Center; Southern Crescent Anesthesiology; and Sentry Anesthesia Management, as well as nurse anesthetist David LaGuardia. The whistleblower complaint, brought by Sharon Kopko, former Practice Administrator for Georgia Bone & Joint, alleged that Mr. LaGuardia, Sentry, and Southern Crescent provided a free ... Read More

Wells Fargo Whistleblower Allegedly Fired For Reporting Foreign Exchange Violations

Wells Fargo Bank finds itself facing another whistleblower lawsuit, this time filed by the former head of the bank’s foreign exchange (FX) group who says the bank encouraged employees to “make false and misleading representations to customers, to engage in abusive sales practices, and to enrich themselves at the expense of clients.” According to The Mercury News, whistleblower Simon Fowles alleges he voiced complaints about the unlawful and unethical practices to managers at the San Francisco-based banking giant for years but that his concerns essentially fell on deaf ears. Mr. Fowles claims he warned high-level Wells Fargo executives about “significant ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Arizona Cancer Center For Alleged Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower complaint alleging an Arizona cancer treatment company cheated Medicare and other federal health care programs out of millions of dollars is moving ahead after a federal judge rejected the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case. The Republic/Arizona Central reports that the whistleblower suit alleges the Arizona Center for Cancer Care and its principals engaged in schemes to double-bill the government, overcharge for testing and treatments, and bill for medical services that patients didn’t need. The lawsuit claims these practices helped AZCCC improperly collect more than $8 million since 2011. Based in the Phoenix metro area, AZCCC operates 35 ... Read More

Second Xarelto side effects trial underway in PA

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer failed to warn doctors about the significantly increased risk of internal bleeding their blood thinner Xarelto posed to patients who were also taking other antiplatelet medications, attorneys for a man suing the companies said during opening arguments in the second trial in a mass tort program in Philadelphia County. In 2013, Plaintiff Daniel Russell had a stent placed to treat a blocked coronary artery. He also had an irregular heartbeat. At that time, he was prescribed two anti-platelet medications, aspirin and Plavix, to prevent blood clots. Soon after, his heart was shocked back ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Recover $11.5 Million From Radiation Therapy Chain

A whistleblower who sued Sightline Health LLC, a Texas-based chain of radiation therapy centers, alleging the company assembled and operated an illegal kickback scheme has helped the U.S. government recover about $11.5 million. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it reached an agreement with SightLine and Integrated Oncology Network Holdings LLC, which acquired SightLine in 2011, to settle the whistleblower’s allegations that SightLine was engaging in an improper kickback scheme designed to boost its Medicare reimbursements. The whistleblower sued SightLine on behalf of the U.S. government under the False Claims Act. The DOJ investigated the whistleblower’s claims and chose ... Read More