171695 Qui Tam and Public Health

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:30 AM

Beatrice E. Manning, PhD , First Parish of Bolton, Bolton, MA
Neil Mullin, JD , Smith Mullin, Montclair, NJ
Charles M. Alcorn, DS , Independent Consultant, Reading, PA
We are whistleblowers who used the Qui Tam law in a suit against Schering Plough that settled in 2004 for $293 million, returned to Medicaid and other low income health agencies, and an additional $52.5 million criminal fine. Essentially all the settlements against pharmaceutical companies that involve hundreds of millions of dollars, much of which is returned to public health programs, have been initiated by whistleblowers, most using the Qui Tam statue. While less frequent, the same holds true for health insurers and health management groups. Qui Tam and public health have become intertwined in the key purse string area. This is not only true under current structural arrangements but will continue to be true regarding any health care reform.

Since 2004 we continue to be approached by various law firms, individuals, and attorneys general offices for aid and advice in new cases. Interestingly, we have not been approached by the public health community which is often the major monetary beneficiary of qui tam cases.

Public health agencies seem to be underutilizing the Qui Tam mechanism. We review the use of Qui Tam in public health and suggest future areas in which its use may be considered, e.g., negative drug trials which do not become public until years of use. We include discussion of the political context in which public health occurs and the various governmental options, e.g., state vs. federal, through which Qui Tam suits can be pursued depending on the political situation.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the various potential areas, e.g., clinical trials, promotion, cost to govenment in which Qui Tam can be used. Understand the various government levels, i.e., state and federal, which have Qui Tam mechanismsand the advantages of using different levels. Be able to consider creatively areas in which to file and/or cooperate in Qui Tam actions.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have successfully persued a large qui tam case and have a Ph.D. in sociology. I have successfully worked in public health and in the private sector.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.