Daiichi Sankyo Whistleblower Case Returns Over $39 Million to the Government

We recently announced that Daiichi Sankyo had agreed to pay $39, 015, 770 plus interest to resolve our client’s lawsuit. The qui tam case was brought in March 2010 by client Kathy Fragoules, a former Daiichi Sankyo sales representative. The Complaint alleged that Daiichi Sankyo had various programs utilized by its sales representatives to induce physicians to use its pharmaceuticals, including Welchol, Azor, Benicar, and Benicar HCT. These inducements, our Complaint alleged, caused physicians to prescribe Daiichi Sankyo pharmaceuticals for government healthcare program beneficiaries in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The detailed allegations described a program, which began in 2005, called “Physician Opinion Discussions” (or “PODs”), in which sales representatives targeted high decile physicians to be  POD speakers to small groups of 3 or more fellow physicians. The only qualifications to lead a POD were that the physician be a high decile physician.  According to our Complaint, all physicians who attended a POD were eventually able to lead their own POD, up to five times per year, with physician leaders receiving $500 or more per session.

Our client will receive a relator share payment of $6,122,838.60 plus accrued interest from the federal share of the settlement amount and a yet-to-be-announced share from the States.