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 Mr. Kopchinski’s whistleblower lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act, which provides whistleblowers with protection against job retaliation and rewards.
His whistleblower case was the biggest piece of the record-setting $2.3 billion settlement Pfizer paid in 2009. The Pfizer settlement was the largest healthcare fraud settlement at that time and currently is the second largest. (The biggest healthcare fraud settlement to date, $3 billion, was paid by GlaxoSmithKline, the bulk of which was paid to settle charges related to a qui tam case against Glaxo brought by two whistleblowers who also were represented by Phillips & Cohen.)
Below are excerpts from a Reuters story about Mr. Kopchinski, his whistleblower lawsuit against Pfizer and his reward.
[If you are aware of fraud by a pharma company or a healthcare provider, contact Phillips & Cohen for a free, confidential review of your potential case. Whistleblowers who know of fraud or wrongdoing related to Covid-19 and the coronavirus are particularly needed in these times.]
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 and his whistleblower case against Pfizer on the Reuters website.
Phillips & Cohen – whistleblower attorneys
Phillips & Cohen is the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries from our cases totaling over $12.3 billion. Our work has been recognized with numerous awards and the praise of our whistleblower clients. Blowing the whistle can be a difficult decision. With more than 30 years of experience with whistleblower cases, Phillips & Cohen can help prepare you before you blow the whistle so that you know what to expect after your case is filed. We are there for our clients. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.