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Whistleblower Comments on Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals' $2.8 Million Settlement of His Medicaid Fraud Qui Tam Case
Date:3/28/2012

PLANO, Texas, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company, Cypress Pharmaceutical Inc., have paid the federal government and certain states a total of $2.8 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Phillips & Cohen LLP that alleged Hawthorn falsely marketed unapproved prescription drugs as being eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid and other government health care programs.

An even bigger result of the "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit -- which was filed "under seal" in 2007 in Plano, Texas, and made public today -- was that government health care programs stopped purchasing unapproved Hawthorn prescription drugs during the government investigation of the whistleblower's claims. Those drugs included cough and cold drugs, hydrocodone products and timed-release products using unapproved "tannate" formulations of drug ingredients.

The whistleblower, Robert Heiden, is a former district sales manager for Hawthorn in Florida. He is represented by Phillips & Cohen LLP.

ROBERT HEIDEN, THE WHISTLEBLOWER: "The impact of this case goes beyond the money recovered. Unapproved and unsafe drugs sold by Hawthorn and other companies have been pulled off Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement lists, protecting consumers and saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars."

"My case and the government's response mean that children, from infants to adolescents, now are protected from the dangers of certain drugs whose safety and effectiveness haven't been determined. With the removal of the drugs from government reimbursement lists, doctors are shielded from prescribing drugs they had been misled to believe were FDA-approved, and parents will no longer be giving their children drugs they didn't realize hadn't been approved by the FDA."

ATTORNEY COLETTE G. MATZZIE, PHILLIPS & COHEN LLP, WASHINGTON, DC: "A whistleblower
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SOURCE Phillips & Cohen LLP
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