Pate & Johnson has successfully represented whistleblowers for many years, resulting in a number of very large settlements on behalf of their whistleblower clients. When the government intervenes in these cases and significant settlements are reached, the cases often appear in the news.
In this case, our clients brought a claim against Avanir, a pharmaceutical company, alleging that Avanir’s sales representatives aggressively marketed a drug called Nuedexta to nursing homes and assisted living facilities for dementia related behaviors, even though it was not approved for these uses. The whistleblowers also claim that Avanir paid kickbacks to doctors and that the off-label uses of Nuedexta resulted in fraudulent medical claims of millions of dollars. Avanir agreed to a settlement of over $95 million dollars, and prosecutors have agreed to deter prosecution in exchange for additional criminal penalty and forfeiture payments by Avanir.
Seeking comments on behalf of his clients, The Fulton County Daily Report interviewed Page Pate about the whistleblower case. Page said that his client, a former Avanir regional sales representative, “…was concerned about how patients in nursing homes were being treated. He saw what he believed to be abusive, predatory practices of this company…he was not a disgruntled employee.”
Whistleblowers generally receive part of the total settlement under the False Claims Act in these types of cases. In regard to his clients, Page says that he “anticipates the Georgia whistleblowers will receive around 18.5% of Avanir’s settlement.”