It sounds great on the surface. Pharmaceutical companies contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations that work to make incredibly expensive, life-saving drugs more affordable. But, in far too many cases, there’s an unseemly underbelly to this process. And whistleblowers are doing their part to make sure it is exposed.
What is a Patient Assistance Program?
A patient assistance program (PAP) is presented as a way for people suffering from devastating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, to be able to afford medications that can help them manage their conditions. PAPs are, in many instances, legitimate, charitable endeavors. They get their money from grassroots fundraising organizations or from independent donors.
A lot of PAPs, however, aren’t nearly as noble. They’re nothing more than tax-deductible marketing schemes that help generate even more profits for huge pharmaceutical companies. While patients get the medications they need, U.S. taxpayers foot the bill.
What’s the Problem?
The problem comes when a pharmaceutical giant donates money for a PAP, and then rigs the system in a way that ensures the people benefiting from the program use that pharmaceutical company’s drugs. The company then bills Medicare and Medicaid for reimbursement. Federal law prohibits this type of coordination. Drug manufacturers cannot receive any information on how the charity spends the money the manufacturer donates. And they aren’t allowed to receive any patient data from those charities.
Thanks to the efforts of whistleblowers, pharmaceutical companies are under increasing scrutiny when it comes to their donations to PAPs. Companies across the country have been fined millions of dollars for their unethical behavior.
Please contact Baron & Budd as soon as possible if you have reason to believe that a PAP that may be defrauding public insurance programs. We will discuss the details of what you know, and then tell you if you may be eligible to file a whistleblower lawsuit. If a governmental entity successfully prosecutes the case, you may be entitled to a substantial monetary award.
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