Hagens Berman's whistleblower client, Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., of Seattle, played a key role in uncovering an illegal scheme allegedly organized by pharmaceutical giant Amgen. This case led to $762 million in criminal and civil penalties levied by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2006 Horwitz alerted authorities to Amgen’s alleged manipulation of the scientific record regarding two of its blockbuster drugs, Aranesp and Neulasta. He recognized that this manipulation led to more prescriptions for off-label uses of these drugs, which resulted in enormous expenditures by federal Medicare and state Medicaid programs, according to court documents.
In early 2007 Horwitz filed suit under the federal False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions, which allow whistleblowers to pursue recoveries on the government’s behalf for funds wrongfully paid. These provisions also allow whistleblowers to receive a portion of the funds recovered as a reward.
“We are proud to have represented Dr. Horwitz in this case,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “It takes an incredible amount of courage to step forward and speak the truth in instances like this.”
“Dr. Horwitz helped put a stop to a fraud that was costing taxpayers billions of dollars, while also improving safety in the use of Aranesp and Neulasta,” Berman added. “For example, many of Dr. Horwitz’s allegations centered on Aranesp used as an off-label treatment for so-called anemia of cancer. That use has been shown to be quite dangerous to oncology patients, and Dr. Horwitz’s suit put a spotlight on Amgen’s unlawful efforts to increase Aranesp prescriptions for this condition.”
Berman also credited the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, particularly AUSAs Harold Malkin, Peter Winn, and Susan Loitz. “Those prosecutors committed themselves to pursuing Amgen for its indefensible conduct and were a fantastic team to work with,” said Berman.
ABOUT THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM
The False Claims Act is the primary law enforcement tool used to combat fraud against the government. The Act allows whistleblowers to help stop fraud and rewards them financially for doing so – sometimes tens of millions of dollars or more. Hagens Berman successfully represents False Claims Act whistleblowers under federal and more than 30 state False Claims Act laws. Our clients’ False Claims Act cases have helped the government obtain record-breaking recoveries and our clients have been justly rewarded financially for their efforts. In a successful False Claims Act suit, a whistleblower can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the government’s overall recovery. False Claims Act cases range from various types of healthcare fraud, government contractor fraud, military spending fraud, procurement fraud and more.
CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTS FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS
Whistleblower cases are kept under strictly enforced confidentiality by the government or the courts during the period of investigation, and for the SEC/CFTC/IRS programs, in perpetuity. Likewise, whistleblower attorneys at Hagens Berman will handle its investigation and any eventual lawsuit or agency complaint with the highest confidentiality to protect your anonymity. We work to protect your anonymity, confidentiality, and job security during the entirety of our representation. Whistleblower laws protect employees from retaliation and Hagens Berman helps whistleblowers address retaliation and potential retaliation. To understand your rights and the legal protections provided by several whistleblower programs, contact us for a confidential consult.
TOP WHISTLEBLOWER LAW FIRM
Hagens Berman’s team of expert whistleblower attorneys, led by managing partner, Steve Berman and head of whistleblower practice, Shayne Stevenson, has the track record, reputation, and knowledge to advocate for whistleblower clients in ways others do not. Our whistleblower practice is among a handful of the most successful and respected in the U.S. Unlike smaller, less experienced whistleblower law firms, Hagens Berman also has more than 80 attorneys in cities worldwide litigating complex corporate fraud every day, giving our clients the resources and expertise necessary to take on a broad range of whistleblower cases.
Hagens Berman's whistleblower client, Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., of Seattle, played a key role in uncovering an illegal scheme allegedly organized by pharmaceutical giant Amgen. This case led to $762 million in criminal and civil penalties levied by the U.S. Department of Justice. Click for more about our whistleblower practice.