Waters & Kraus Represents Key Relator in Bristol-Myers Squibb Medicaid Fraud Case
DALLAS – July 21, 2008 – A former sales rep for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. who blew the whistle about the company’s fraudulent business practices will receive a multimillion-dollar settlement for his role in bringing the allegations to light.
Mychal Wilson, the former employee, brought claims on behalf of several states under those states’ False Claims Acts. Mr. Wilson alleged that Bristol-Myers provided improper inducements to physicians to write prescriptions for Plavix®, Pravachol®, Glucovance®, Glucophage®, Monopril®, Avapro®, Tequin® and Avanadia®.
During his tenure at Bristol-Myers, Mr. Wilson kept meticulous records that documented an extensive program of fraudulent practices. These included paying honoraria to physicians to attend sham consulting conferences and continuing medical education events.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb behaved egregiously,” said Charles Siegel, WK partner and lead counsel. “Here’s a Fortune 500 company that sought to increase its market share and improve its bottom line at the expense of taxpayers and the neediest of patients. We applaud Mychal for his courage and tenacity to come forward and do the right thing. It was a privilege to be part of this case.”
Based on the assertions of Mr. Wilson and others, Bristol-Myers agreed to pay $403 million to 44 state Medicaid programs to settle the fraud allegations. The agreement comes after a four-part, seven-year investigation that began in 2001. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the federal componenet of the settlement last September that was estimated at more than $500 million.
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
Waters & Kraus, LLP, is a plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases. The firm’s diverse practice includes mesothelioma claims, toxic tort litigation, pharmaceutical product liability, negligence, and consumer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistle-blower), and commercial litigation. With offices in Texas, California, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.