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Pharmaceutical fraud: the importance of qui tam whistleblower suits

Fraud committed by bad-faith actors against Texas and national taxpayers runs a gamut of schemes that entail the purposeful fleecing of federal agencies and other entities.

We know that many readers of our criminal defense blog at Houston-based Hilder & Associates, P.C., often hear, for example, of massive health care-linked fraud targeting programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Other types of government fraud involve contracts/bidding, the military, energy concerns and the financial industry.

And then there is pharmaceutical fraud, which comprises an area where fraud-based concerns and legal claims often arise. Industry insiders -- often employees -- command an especially close view of wrongdoing involving entities that deal with pharmaceuticals (e.g., manufacturers, hospitals and pharmacies). As such, they often play the vital role of so-called "qui tam" whistleblowers. Those individuals use their inside knowledge to spotlight and help government officials investigate fraudulent behavior that defrauds the country and taxpayers.

That behavior can take many forms, such as the following:

  • False billing practices
  • Illegal sales and promotion strategies
  • Kickbacks and forms of collusion among various parties
  • Dissemination of bogus data (such as fake customer lists and nonexistent patient treatments)

Many Americans rightly applaud the courage and conviction of individuals who personally risk much to raise concerns regarding fraud against the government. Whistleblowers have often suffered from retaliation at work because of their willingness to confront deceit intended to line the pocketbooks of a select few at the expense of the general public.

We note on our website that, "Reporting fraud should be rewarding, not punitive." We welcome whistleblower-related questions and concerns, and the opportunity to legally assist individuals who bravely act to promote public safety and help officials recoup misappropriated funds.

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