Celgene settlement reported by Bloomberg, Law360

A $280 million federal False Claims Act (FCA) settlement between the United States government and pharmaceutical giant Celgene Corporation is being reported this morning by Bloomberg News and Law360. The settlement was reached after the United States declined to “intervene” or take over the case and whistle-blower Beverly Brown, a former sales representative, litigated the case for three years before reaching a settlement with Celgene.

Brown alleged Celgene marketed and promoted two of its drugs, Thalomid and Revlimid, to treat cancers for which the drugs were not approved. Brown alleged this “off-label” promotion illegally caused federal and state healthcare insurance programs to pay for the drugs.

Brown is represented by Dick Harpootlian and Chris Kenney of Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A., as well as Reuben Guttman, Traci Buschner, Justin Brooks, Dan Guttman, Liz Shofner, Caroline Poplin, MD/JD, and Paul Zwier, all of Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC (GBB); Tom Bienert, Mike Williams, Ariana Hawbecker, and Ali Matin of Bienert, Miller & Katzman (BMK); and former federal Judge and Harvard Law Professor, Nancy Gertner, from Boston, Massachusetts.

Law360 reports that the litigation entailed more than 40 depositions, 12,000 pages of transcripts, and more than 6 million documents. Bloomberg quotes Patrick Burns, president of the Washington advocacy group Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund as saying the settlement amount “isn’t something to be dismissed,” but ranks among the top 100 false-claims accords in U.S. history.

The case is United States ex rel. Brown v. Celgene Corp., C.A. No. 10-cv-3165 (C.D. Cal.).

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