A federal judge in Delaware has decided to allow a False Claims Act suit to proceed against the major pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca LP
March 03, 2020 11:41 AM EST — WASHINGTON — The nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd are proceeding with a False Claims Act suit against the pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca LP, after a federal judge denied the company’s request to dismiss the case.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika did, however, agree to dismiss one of the plaintiffs, a former sales specialist for AstraZeneca, from the case. A second plaintiff, represented by the qui tam team at Baron & Budd, remains on the suit. The case was filed in the United States District Court District of Delaware on February 5, 2010 (Case No. 1:10-cv-00095-MN).
“This favorable ruling by the court means we can move forward with this case and initiate discovery,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Scott Simmer. “We want AstraZeneca to be held accountable for choosing profits over safety and wasting taxpayer dollars.”
The lawsuit alleges that AstraZeneca used a fraudulent marketing scheme to promote its drug, Crestor. Crestor is a prescription statin drug that was prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. According to the suit, among other things, AstraZeneca promoted the drug off label for the treatment of regression of atherosclerosis, for the prevention of diabetes and provided kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe Crestor. The plaintiff, a former AstraZeneca sales specialist, came forward with information about the fraudulent and misleading tactics employed by AstraZeneca in order to ensure sales of Crestor in hopes of saving the financially struggling company.
The federal and state governments listed in the suit were substantially harmed by AstraZeneca’s false claims, misleading promotions, and kickbacks. Many federal and state government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, provided reimbursements for Crestor. These government program reimbursements were made as a result of the fraudulent marketing scheme perpetuated by AstraZeneca.
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