A prescription drug management giant faces a civil fraud lawsuit by the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia. U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan today announced his office will intervene in two civil whistleblower lawsuits filed under both federal and state False Claims Acts against pharmaceutical giants Merck & Co. and its subsidiaries, alleging the companies defrauded the Federal Employees Health Program and other insurers.
According to whistleblowers, Merck companies have defrauded state and local governments out of hundreds of millions of dollars since 1993. The potential damages could be huge because the company managed more than 537 million prescriptions for 150 Fortune 500 companies in 2001 alone, and reported $26 billion in total revenue.
"The kind of conduct alleged in the complaints threatens not only the integrity of the system as a whole but also the well-being of the very patients it is designed to benefit," Meehan said in a statement.
Merck officials could not be reached for comment at deadline. -- by Mark Taylor