BOSTON and WASHINGTON, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading whistleblower law firm Grant & Eisenhofer has represented one of several key whistleblowers behind a $1.04 billion settlement announced today between drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from alleged marketing abuses of various GSK medications. Grant & Eisenhofer's client, Lois Graydon, is a nursing professional and former GSK Therapeutic Sales Manager.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston led the investigation into promotional tactics behind a total of nine GSK drugs. An accompanying criminal component of the case is expected to substantially increase the sum of the recovery.
Grant & Eisenhofer partner Reuben Guttman and senior counsel Traci Buschner are counsel to Lois Graydon, a registered nurse. She is one of the "relators" who alleged that GSK made false and misleading statements about Advair's safety and efficacy, thus enabling false or fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and other reimbursement programs.
Advair's share of the recovery – more than $700 million – amounts to over half of the total civil settlement of $1.04 billion.
"The False Claims Act plays an important role in health industry compliance enforcement; health care is an issue that touches everyone and oversight, diligence and transparency are critical," said Mr. Guttman, one of the country's leading whistleblower attorneys.
"It is important that the medical community pays attention to this settlement and others and asks critical questions about the scientific support for the use of prescription drugs," he added.
"In this election year, the safety of pharmaceuticals and their cost to the health care system should be front and center," Mr. Guttman said.
He added, "Whistleblowers play an important role in compliance enforcement of our laws. We were proud to have represented one of the whistleblowers on this important case under the False Claims Act."
The GSK settlement is the latest in a series of high-profile outcomes for Mr. Guttman on behalf of individual whistleblowers. The firm represented plaintiff Lynn Szymoniak, profiled on 60 Minutes as a homeowner facing foreclosure and later whistleblower on "robo-signing" fraud by large mortgage providers including Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. The group of banks concluded a settlement with the Justice Department and state Attorneys General this past March for $25 billion.
Grant & Eisenhofer also represented an Abbott Laboratories sales manager who alleged the company illegally marketed its powerful anti-seizure medication Depakote, while making kickbacks to physicians to prescribe it. Among other allegations, Abbott was accused of promoting Depakote for use in nursing homes to sedate patients with dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as for hard-to-control children. The company was also charged with making illegal payments to medical practitioners to prescribe it. This past May, Abbott agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle the claims, one of the largest payments ever for off-label marketing of a single drug. Mr. Guttman and Ms. Buschner's client was lead whistleblower when the Justice Department intervened on her behalf.
Mr. Guttman and Ms. Buschner currently represent several relators in an ongoing government case against defense contractor Lockheed Martin regarding alleged environmental noncompliance and mishandling of hazardous waste at one of its plants. The Natural Resources Defense Council has joined the government's case. Additionally, Mr. Guttman and Ms. Buschner are counsel to one of the relators in a case against Wyeth (now owned by Pfizer) over alleged off-label marketing of Rapamune, its immunosuppressant post-organ transplant drug.
Note: Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. represents institutional investors and shareholders internationally in securities class actions, corporate governance actions and derivative litigation. The firm has recovered more than $13 billion for shareholders in the last five years and has consistently been cited by RiskMetrics for securing among the highest average investor recovery in securities class actions. Grant & Eisenhofer has been named one of the country's top plaintiffs' law firms by The National Law Journal for the past six years. For more about Grant & Eisenhofer, visit www.gelaw.com or www.whistleblowerlaws.com
SOURCE Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.