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Report Shows Drug Companies Faced Fewer Criminal, Civil Penalties, Over the Last Two Years

Posted on June 14, 2016

No one is sure why, but drug manufacturers are paying less in fines and penalties than they were just a few years ago. According to a report by Public Citizen, a consumer advocate group, pharmaceutical manufacturers paid only about $2.8 billion in settlements for state and federal civil and criminal charges in 2014 and 2015. That’s a $7.1 billion drop from the $9.9 billion paid out in 2012 and 2013. The 2014 to 2015 amount was the lowest Big Pharma made in payments during a two year period since 2004 and 2005.

So, has the government gotten soft or has the pharmaceutical industry cleaned up its act? One author of the report, Dr. Sammy Almashat, doubts that past fines have caused pharmaceutical companies to start playing by the rules. According to Dr. Almashat,  “Previous penalties never have been large enough to deter the most common types of pharmaceutical fraud, so it would be surprising if the industry suddenly decided of its own accord to comply with laws it has routinely violated for decades.” Dr. Almashat thinks that several factors may be responsible for the drop in payments, including some changes made in Medicaid reimbursements.

The Public Citizen report also illustrates that some of the usual suspects have paid out the most in settlements over the last 25 years. Pfizer was at the top of the list, Merck in second place, and GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb tied for third.

While the Department of Justice might be backing off the pharmaceutical industry, that doesn’t mean you have to. If a medication has injured you or someone you care about, you still have the right to file a civil claim against the drug’s manufacturer. If you feel you may have a case against a pharmaceutical company, you need to call the law offices of Farah & Farah to find out what your legal options are. Call (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation.