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Ohio Sales Rep's Information Launched Massive Government Investigation of Cephalon
Date:9/29/2008

eat cancer patients when their usual pain medication doesn't control "breakthrough" episodes of extreme pain. The potential side effects of Actiq include nausea, dizziness and respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening.

Boise's lawsuit says that Cephalon decided to increase Actiq's sales by marketing it for general pain treatment to internists and general practitioners - doctors who usually aren't as familiar as oncologists are with the potential dangers associated with using a prescription narcotic such as Actiq.

Boise was the first to report Cephalon's off-label marketing practices to the federal government and played a key role in the investigation. Only after he was fired and found it impossible to secure new employment in the industry because he had been blackballed did he seek counsel to file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower law allows private citizens to sue companies defrauding the government and receive a reward. But by the time he hired a lawyer to represent him, nearly two years had passed since he first contacted the FDA.

In the interim, two other whistleblowers filed qui tam lawsuits making similar allegations nine months after Boise had provided extensive information to the FDA and reported Cephalon to the FDA. After he learned about the False Claims Act, Boise contacted Phillips & Cohen, which filed his qui tam lawsuit in federal district court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September 2004 on behalf of the federal government and a dozen states with similar false claims statutes. A fourth whistleblower filed a qui tam lawsuit one week later.

Today's settlement covers all four whistleblower lawsuits. The whistleblowers will receive a reward totaling $46 million for their information and the work on the case they did with their attorneys on the federal case and roughly an additional $11 million for the state cases.

"Bruce Boise sacrificed a lot to protect patients across this country
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SOURCE Phillips & Cohen
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