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Whistleblower's extraordinary efforts helped win $95 million settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim
Date:10/25/2012

BALTIMORE, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  The healthcare fraud case that Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. settled today with the government for $95 million was due in large measure to a former Boehringer Ingelheim sales representative-turned-whistleblower who made extraordinary efforts to stop Boehringer Ingelheim's pharma marketing practices that allegedly defrauded Medicare and other government healthcare programs and promoted uses of its drugs that endangered patients' health.

The whistleblower, Robert Heiden, filed a "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit in 2005 with detailed allegations about Boehringer Ingelheim's kickback programs and "off-label" marketing of certain drugs for unapproved uses. He provided extensive assistance to the government's investigation. For instance, he:

  • Wore a wire and recorded conversations at the government's request.
  • Analyzed 1.5 million pages of documents and more than 2 million "call notes" pharma reps kept after each visit with a doctor or doctor's office..
  • Prepared background notebooks to assist the government with interviews of at least 15 witnesses.
  • Arranged for an undercover FBI agent to attend a marketing lecture sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim where the speaker discussed and encouraged uses of the drug Micardis that hadn't been approved and weren't supported by research.

"Rob Heiden was an exceptionally committed whistleblower who led the charge to stop the marketing of prescription drugs for uses that hadn't been approved and could endanger patients' health," said Colette G. Matzzie, a Washington, DC, attorney with Phillips & Cohen LLP, which represents Heiden. "Even the FBI was impressed with his help, particularly that he was able to get an undercover FBI agent into a Boehringer Ingelheim marketing seminar after Rob had already left the company."

Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers whose cases r
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SOURCE Phillips & Cohen LLP
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