Recent Organon Settlement Provides Valuable Lesson about Perseverance for Potential Whistleblowers

In June 2012, a Massachusetts district court judge dismissed most of the relators’ claims against pharmaceutical manufacturer Organon and two long-term care pharmacies, Pharmerica and Omnicare, concerning the antidepressant drug Remeron. However, the court permitted the relators to proceed on their allegations that Organon misreported pricing and rebates associated with Remeron sales. When paired with another qui tam lawsuit filed in Texas, this lone allegation recently led to a $31 million recovery from Organon for the federal government and several states, according to several state attorneys general.

At the time of the June 2012 dismissal, False Claims Act defense attorneys touted the dismissal as a victory for Organon. However, as the United States Supreme Court recently stressed in a different matter, False Claims Act allegations are assessed on a “claim-by-claim basis”. In turn, even though defendants may successfully silence some qui tam allegations, this does not sound the death knell for cases that involve multiple causes of actions and factual bases.

More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach & White website.