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Physician whistleblower is awarded $59m in Pfizer settlement

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1195 (Published 26 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1195
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Pfizer has paid $784m (£562m; €710m) to settle claims that its Wyeth Pharmaceuticals unit overcharged the US Medicaid scheme by failing to offer the public payer the same discounts it offered to private hospitals for its drug pantoprazole (which it markets as Protonix), used to treat oesophagitis. Pfizer admitted no wrongdoing and did not own Wyeth when the alleged fraud occurred.

The settlement, while large, broke no records. But it was a bonanza for the two whistleblowers who first sued Pfizer, one a former AstraZeneca sales representative, the other a Louisiana internal medicine specialist, William LaCorte, who received $59m from the US government as his share of the settlement.

LaCorte receives the payout under the “qui …

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