The United States Department of Justice issues a press release last week detailing recent charges filed against a lawyer for a large pharmaceutical company.
The charges stem from the lawyer’s contact with the Food and Drug Administration in October of 2002. The FDA questioned the attorney regarding the company’s promotion of a particular prescription drug. Specifically, the FDA was concerned about the drugs marketing efforts claiming a particular use for the product which the FDA had not explicitly authorized-a practice known as “off-label marketing.” In response to the Administration questioning the attorney sent letters falsely claiming that the company never promoted the drug for off-label purposes. The lawyer sent these letters even though she personally knew that the company had in fact sponsored events promoting the drug for unapproved purposes.
Besides the false statements, the lawyer also failed to provide the FDA with requested information regarding the marketing of the drug-particularly a set of slides used to advertise the product in hundreds of talks by physicians. The Justice Department eventually obtained a memorandum written by the legal team in question which explained that producing the slides would have provided incriminating evidence about potential off-label promotion of the drug.
All told the lawyer has been charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding, one count of concealing/falsifying documents, and four counts of making false statements to the FDA.
The facts surrounding this particular case demonstrate the extreme lengths that many of these large drug companies will go to skirt the law-all in an effort to maximize profits. All too often these large pharmaceutical conglomerates seek to boost the bottom line first of all, with patient care being only an incidental concern. When caught violating laws, some of these companies perform every trick in the book to hide their conduct.
For that reason it is vital to contact a malpractice lawyer if you feel you may have been a victim of deceitful practices of one of these companies. It is never easy when doing legal battle against large drug conglomerates, but legal help exists to take up the fight. Our Chicago malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti have decades of experience fighting for the rights of all sorts of victims of improper medical care. We are committing to respecting and protecting patient rights at all times.
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