BSF and the U.S. Government Settle $499 Million False Claims Act Case Against Bristol-Myers and Apothecon
September 21, 2007Short Hills, NJ, September 21, 2007, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and the United States Government in conjunction with various other Relators and their counsel have announced a comprehensive $499 million settlement of several False Claims Act cases against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ("BMS") of New York, NY and Apothecon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMS. BMS is a pharmaceutical manufacturer which provides medicines for among other things to treat cancer, cardiovascular & infectious disease and serious mental illness.
Relator Dr. Joseph Piacentile first filed a qui tam action pursuant to the False Claims Act on behalf of the United States Government and fourteen states against BMS in 2005. Dr. Piacentile subsequently retained the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in order to prosecute, mediate and eventually settle the case.
The qui tam complaint filed by Dr. Piacentile alleged, among other things, that BMS misrepresented clinical information regarding the safety of their atypical antipsychotic drug Abilify; systematically engaged in illegal off-label marketing and unlawfully promoted Abilify in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark law by using thinly-veiled cash payments and other incentives. The prosecution and settlement of the case on behalf of the Government was handled by Andy Mao, Trial Attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice and Greg Shapiro, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
"This is one in a series of important cases that our firm has brought to improve the quality of health care and prescription drugs provided to the Government and the public," said David Boies, Chairman of the firm.
David Stone, Administrative Partner of Boies, Schiller & Flexner's New Jersey office and head of the firm's False Claims Act Practice Area who handled the case for the firm said, "Boies, Schiller & Flexner is pleased to contribute to the successful resolution of this qui tam case which will result in important changes in the marketing of pharmaceutical products. We are also very happy we could assist the Government to recover money that it paid for these drugs on behalf of Medicaid and Medicare patients."
As part of the settlement the companies also entered in Corporate Integrity agreements to ensure that the acts complained of would not occur in the future.Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, founded in 1997, has become one of the nation's premier law firms. It has approximately 240 lawyers in offices located in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Florida, New Hampshire and Las Vegas. Best known for landmark cases such as United States v. Microsoft, Bush v. Gore, and In re Vitamins, the firm represents some of the largest and most sophisticated organizations in the world in their most important matters. The firm has been described by The Wall Street Journal as a "national litigation powerhouse" and by the National Law Journal as "unafraid to venture into controversial" and "high risk" matters. Boies, Schiller & Flexner can be visited on the web at http://www.bsfllp.com