Four former sales staff members tipped off authorities to Abbott Laboratories’ improper marketing of medication and will now split $84 million, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“Abbott made the payment to settle claims that it improperly marketed the neurologic medication Depakote for off-label, or unapproved, uses,” according to Tim Feran of the Columbus Dispatch.
The payout, part of a $1.6 billion settlement, is considered to be the largest since the False Claims Act was revised over twenty-five years ago. Whistle-blowers were given more financial incentive to come forward by being awarded part of the settlement in the revised act.
Many states have their own False Claims Act, but Ohio does not. This “whistle-blower protection law” would encourage informants to come forward, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who supports Senate Bill 143 regarding this issue.
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“The amount awarded may seem excessive,” said Steve Crandall, a top rated medical malpractice attorney in Ohio and Kentucky, “but not when you consider the amount the company was stealing from consumers until these four individuals stepped forward to do the right thing.”
Along with support for Senate Bill 143, Crandall believes Abbott Laboratories should be severely penalized so that they think twice before attempting dangerous practices in the future.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by medication error, including the drug Depakote, contact Steve Crandall. Steve is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.