As summarized in the WSJ article here, and other AP news releases, Serono Laboratories Inc pled guilty today to two counts of conspiracy and agreed to pay $704 million dollars to settle one of the largest health care fraud cases in US history. Additional background provided in this article in The Boston Globe.
The fine paid is the single largest Medicaid fraud case on record and was related to an ongoing fraud perpetrated by a broad range of company employees, although only 5 former sales representatives are listed in the indictment, and whom offered kickbacks to doctors for prescribing Serostim, a patented AIDs related medication. The fraud ran from 1996 to the present and the award represents the gross profits of the company in selling the drug over that time to Medicaid recipients.
The scam came to light after 5 employees of the company filed suits claiming violations of the false claims laws, and they will share a $75 million allocation as part of their whistle blower action.
Later this week I will have one of the attorney's for the whistleblowers, my guest on Ask the Experts, and also on our Civil Action Radio show over at The Legal Broadcast Network to discuss the case further. We have to clear with the court and various parties that gag orders are not in existence, but once those issues are resolved you'll hear from them here first. Don't miss it and make sure you check our podcast listings on Friday.