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 governments.
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower 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 Whistleblower 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.