A NY Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Pharmaceutical Fraud Crimes
Pharmaceutical fraud encompasses a wide range of activities in which false claims are made to Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance providers who pay for drug therapies for patients. There are a wide variety of different behaviors which fall within the definition of pharmaceutical fraud.
When pharmaceutical fraud is committed, often large companies are identified as the wrongdoers and the companies may face civil and criminal liability. Penalties can total in the millions. Individuals who facilitated the fraud crimes may also be charged. A NY criminal defense attorney at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can represent pharmaceutical companies, doctors, healthcare professionals, and others accused of involvement with fraud schemes. Call today to learn more about the legal services available to defendants.
Examples of Fraud in Pharmaceutical Industry
Fraud in the pharmaceutical industry takes several different forms including:
- Illegal kickback schemes: Doctors and other healthcare providers are paid or provided with other valuable incentives for prescribing a particular drug to patients.
- Marketing drugs for off-label uses. The Food and Drug Administration restricts drug makers from marketing drugs for uses other than the purposes for which the medication has specifically been approved. While doctors can prescribe off label, pharma companies can face fraud charges for marketing tactics focused on pushing medications to treat unapproved conditions.
- Intentional deception regarding Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations. A pharma company may fail to train its personnel, fail to maintain stringent control over the drug manufacturing process, or fail to ensure facilities are equipped appropriately. When a company misleads investigators or hides inadequacies in its manufacturing facilities or processes, this is a form of pharmaceutical company fraud.
- Fraud schemes involving Medicaid. Pharmaceutical companies must report pricing data so Medicaid can calculate its reimbursement rate for covered drug therapies. Failure to follow rules for reporting on drug prices to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can result in fraud charges. Any false reporting of drug status, price, or drug origin can also be considered a form of fraud.
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These and other examples of fraud in the pharmaceutical industry can trigger federal investigations and serious criminal penalties if defendants are convicted of violating the law.
What are the Penalties for Pharma Fraud?
In many cases, drug companies settle civil lawsuits that are brought against the companies for pharma fraud. The False Claims Act encourages whistle blowers to come forward and file quit am lawsuits by offering generous financial incentives for those whose claims help the U.S. government to recover money improperly paid out as a result of wrongdoing.
Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical company employees who violate the law can also face a variety of criminal charges as well, some of which can carry penalties of decades imprisonment. 42 U.S. Code Section 1320-a-7b, for example, makes it a felony offense to make false statements, conceal facts, or otherwise make or cause false misrepresentations to be made in connection with applications for benefits or payments under federal healthcare programs.
Defendants must be aware they can face multi-count indictments, and must be fully informed of charges against them as well as of potential penalties for alleged wrongdoing.
How Can a NY Defense Attorney Help Defendants Accused of a Pharmaceutical Scam?
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience with pharmaceutical fraud cases. Our legal team knows how complex drug manufacturing, marketing, and price-setting can be and we fight vigorously to protect our clients from having criminal penalties imposed on them for their work within the pharmaceutical industry.
We have the knowledge and dedication necessary to help you respond aggressively when you are facing charges that could change your financial future and that could take your freedom, so give us a call now to learn how you can get help from a New York City criminal attorney who is ready to take on your case.