The pharmaceutical business is a cutthroat industry, and unfortunately certain drug companies have used fraudulent methods to ensure their profitability. It’s possible you’ve been a victim of this fraud without realizing it, and you could all too easily become an unsuspecting victim in the future. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to strategically use medication and maintain your health and safety.
What is Pharmaceutical Fraud?
This form of deceit includes activities that result in false claims to insurers or medical programs in order to boost the financials of a pharmaceutical company. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Merck have all suffered fraud cases and provided billion dollar settlements for harmful drugs, but the trend still occurs.
Some companies use off-label marketing, which involves illegally misbranding a drug for uses not approved by the FDA. Other companies violate the Good Manufacturing Practice regulations that enforce adequately equipped facilities, trained personnel, and laboratory controls. Kickbacks are also a popular form of fraud in which the company provides rewards like cash, free vacations, and lavish gifts to entice medical professionals into using specific services or drugs.
Examples of Fraud
In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to criminal charges of fraud and settled in a $3 billion agreement. This is the largest health care fraud case in the U.S, and it occurred because the company illegally promoted prescription drugs, bribed doctors, and failed to report safety data. Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Zofran, and Flovent were all involved in this case.
What to Do If You are Victim
If you find that you have taken a drug marketed or provided through illegal methods, contact an attorney immediately. These drugs, though developed to help medical conditions, can cause terrible side effects, especially when used inappropriately as is often a result of fraud. Fraud victims can receive settlements from the company and compensation for the ensuing damages.