Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Honors Waters & Kraus Client for Fighting Medicaid Fraud by Drug Company
WASHINGTON, DC — September 17, 2012 — Last Thursday night, the non-profit public interest organization Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAF) honored Waters & Kraus client Allen Jones for blowing the whistle on alleged fraud and illegal kickbacks by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc. Mr. Jones, a former Pennsylvania healthcare fraud investigator for the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, uncovered a plot by Janssen to promote off-label sales of Risperdal.
Assigned to investigate alleged improper payments to Pennsylvania’s chief pharmacist, Mr. Jones discovered that Janssen was paying kickbacks to public officials to travel and speak across the country to promote Janssen’s “Texas Medication Algorithm Project” or TMAP. TMAP was a multi-pronged initiative intended to ensure that expensive new antipsychotics like Risperdal were prescribed first-line to Medicaid recipients and individuals in state facilities, instead of older, less expensive, but equally effective drugs. Sales of Risperdal totaled $24.2 billion between 2003 and 2010, making it Johnson & Johnson’s best-selling drug.
After exposing the scheme to his superiors at the OIG, Mr. Jones met only ostracism and retaliation. When Mr. Jones brought his findings to Charles Siegel, partner at Waters & Kraus, Mr. Siegel immediately believed in Mr. Jones’ case. Together with Tom Melsheimer and Tommy Jacks of Fish & Richardson, they filed a lawsuit under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act in 2004 on behalf of the State of Texas. The suit accused Janssen of Medicaid fraud, bribery, and off-label marketing of Risperdal. The Texas Attorney General’s office joined the lawsuit in 2006.
In early 2012, after 140 depositions, the production of 10 million pages of documents, and only 6 full days of trial, the Texas case settled for $158 million, making it Texas’ largest Medicaid fraud recovery to date. It was also the first Risperdal settlement and thus had tremendous impact on other state and federal claims against Janssen.
“Janssen misused Texas to further their marketing,” said Mr. Jones. “They subverted science and they influenced others to betray the people they were supposed to be taking care of.”
Waters & Kraus Partner Charles Siegel described Allen Jones “as extremely humble, yet doggedly committed,” Siegel continued, “we have represented and continue to represent some very exemplary and admirable relators. But we will never represent anyone more admirable than Allen.”
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
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