WASHINGTON, DC – Two whistleblowers represented by Phillips & Cohen provided the critical evidence that launched massive government investigations into Glaxosmithkline’s marketing practices, and resulted in the record $3 billion settlement yesterday.
The British pharmaceutical company plead guilty to criminal charges for off-label marketing some of its most popular drugs, including Paxil,Welbutrin, and Advair, false price reporting practices, and failing to disclose the potential health risks of drugs to the FDA. The Department of Justice has called the case the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.
Phillips & Cohen represented key whistleblowers Thomas Gerahty, Glaxo’s former senior marketing development manager, and former regional vice president Matthew Burke. The information provided by these whistleblowers contributed significantly to the government’s case against Glaxosmithkline for its off-label marketing of Advair specifically, as a first line asthma treatment. The extensive evidence prepared by Gerahty, Burke and Phillips & Cohen resulted in Glaxo settling the civil charges for $686 million.
“The gravity of Glaxo’s conduct cannot be overstated,” said Phillips & Cohen attorney Erika A. Kelton. “The company’s improper marketing practices extended across a wide range of its prescription drug portfolio. Given what we saw with Glaxo, Pfizer and other pharma companies, it’s fair to conclude there has been almost no limit to what pharma companies have done to sell their products.”