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Whistleblowers: Incentives, Disincentives, and Protection Strategies by Frederick D. Lipman

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Chapter Three

The Pfizer Whistleblowers Who Collected Over $100 Million under the False Claims Act

ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, Inc. (hereafter together Pfizer) had agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products. That same day, Pfizer issued a press release announcing the settlement of the investigation regarding past off-label promotional practices related to Bextra, which the company voluntarily withdrew from the market in 2005.

Like the Glaxo press release discussed in Chapter 2, the Pfizer press release omitted any reference to payments to whistleblowers. However, the settlement agreement signed by Pfizer provided for payments by the Department of Justice of the following amounts to the listed whistleblowers:

John Kopchinski: $51,500,999

Stefan Kruszewski: $29,013,420

Ronald Rainero: $9,321,369

Glenn DeMott: $7,431,505

Dana Spencer: $2,743,637

Blair Collins: $2,354,582

This chapter relies primarily on allegations contained in the whistleblower complaint. Pfizer likely would deny most of the material allegations of the complaint even though it did not file an answer. The author has given Pfizer a chance to tell its own side of the story, and no response was received from Pfizer. ...

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