March 15, 2018 - Posts

Department of Justice to Use False Claims Act in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

We’ve posted before about how states, and even cities, are turning to their False Claims Act statutes to help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. It should come as no surprise that the federal government is doing the same. In recent remarks before the Federal Bar Association, Deputy Associate Attorney General Stephen Cox discussed how the Department of Justice plans on using the False Claims Act as part of a larger plan to fight opioid abuse.


“The False Claims Act provides the government with a powerful tool to pursue all of those in the opioid distribution chain that are responsible for the improper marketing, distribution, prescription and diversion of opioids – from pharmaceutical manufacturers to physicians, and everyone in between,” he told the attendees of the conference. Last year, the Department of Justice settled a case with Galena Biopharma, the manufacturers of the opioid Abstral, over claims that it paid kickbacks to incentivize doctors to prescribe the drug.


Deputy Associate AG Cox also addressed the Brand Memo on limiting enforcement of non-binding “agency guidance” documents and how it relates to broader efforts to achieve regulatory reform, as well as the Granston Memo, which explains why DOJ may seek to dismiss qui tam cases they declined to intervene in.


You can read Deputy Associate AG Cox’s full speech here:


DOJ False Claims Act Whistleblower



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