Phillips & Cohen LLP represented John Kopchinski in a qui tam lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. that alleged the company was engaged in the off-label marketing of Bextra, a painkiller, in dangerous doses and for unapproved, unsafe uses.
Pfizer paid a total of $1.8 billion to resolve the civil and criminal charges that resulted from the whistleblower lawsuit. The Bextra settlement was part of the $2.3 billion Pfizer paid to settle Mr. Kopchinski’s case; the remainder of the settlement covered five other qui tam lawsuits.
Below is a Reuters story about Mr. Kopchinski by Bill Berkrot.
Pfizer whistleblower’s ordeal reaps big rewards
Taking on corporate giants can feel like tilting at windmills, but John Kopchinski’s six-year legal battle against Pfizer Inc just made him a rich man.
The Gulf War veteran and former Pfizer sales representative will earn more than $51.5 million as a result of his whistleblower lawsuit against the world’s biggest drugmaker and the record penalty the company must pay the U.S. government for its massive marketing transgressions.
“In the Army I was expected to protect people at all costs,” Kopchinski said in a statement. “At Pfizer I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering lives.”
“I couldn’t do that,” added Kopchinski, 45, who was fired by Pfizer in March of 2003, two years before the company pulled Bextra from the market over concerns it raised the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
To read more, see the story about John Kopchinski on the Reuters website.