We represented the first to file relator who alleged that U.S. WorldMeds LLC (“USWM”) paid kickbacks to patients to induce prescriptions of its drugs Apokyn and to physicians to induce prescriptions of both Apokyn and Myobloc, all paid for by Medicare Part D. The kickbacks to patients originated from USWM improperly funding a sham third-party foundation as a “patient assistance fund” that acted as a conduit for patient co-payments for expensive Apokyn prescriptions for Medicare patients. Filed in 2013, this case is the first successful FCA whistleblower claim for patient assistance fund fraud. While the United States has settled several such claims against other pharmaceutical manufacturers starting in 2017, these settlements were not part of a whistleblower FCA qui tam case. The kickbacks to physicians for Apokyn and Myobloc prescriptions included trips to the Kentucky Derby, lavish meals and entertainment, and excessive consulting and speaking fees. To resolve these False Claims Act allegations, USWM agreed in May 2019 to pay the United States $17.5 million and entered into a five year Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS-OIG.
We co-counseled with Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick in the case captioned as:
United States ex rel. Relator v. US WorldMeds LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 3:13CV363 (SRU) (D. Connecticut).