Washington, D.C. July 2, 2012. Today, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to settle four whistleblower lawsuits and to pay $3 billion for committing healthcare fraud. Whistleblowers reported that the company had engaged in off-label marketing for multiple drugs and had failed to report important safety data. The agreement marks the largest healthcare fraud settlement in American history.
The government launched an investigation of GlaxoSmithKline after
receiving tips from whistleblowers. The case ultimately involved many
agencies, including the FBI, FDA, and Inspector General for the
Department of Health and Human Services.
The case was settled under the False Claims Act, a law designed to
penalize those who commit fraud and to reward those who report it. The
$3 billion recovery is comprised of $1 billion in criminal fines and an
additional $2 billion in civil liabilities to the federal and state
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers
Center, stated, "Without the whistleblowers, the government would never
have learned of this massive fraud, and the taxpayers would never have
recovered their losses. Whistleblowing works."
Lindsey M. Williams, Director of Advocacy and Development for the
National Whistleblowers Center, issued the following statement:
I applaud the efforts of the whistleblowers who first reported
GlaxoSmithKline's dangerous violations. A strong whistleblower law
encouraged them to step forward to protect American health and safety.
Not all whistleblowers are covered under the False Claims Act or any
other law. The NWC will continue to advocate for a national
whistleblower protection act that protects every American who risks
their career and reputation to do the right thing.
NWC Petition for a National Whistleblower Protection Act
DOJ Press Release