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Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD)

The federal government routinely awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct, including contract fraud and other violations. POGO believes that providing this website will help to improve contracting decisions and increase public knowledge of how the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars each year. Read more…

U.S. v. Novartis (Speaker Program False Claims and Kickbacks)

The United States filed a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that Novartis gave kickbacks to doctors to induce them to prescribe Novartis products, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The government alleged that, from January 2002 through at least November 2011, Novartis illegally induced doctors to prescribe Novartis’ drugs. The government claimed Novartis provided doctors with expensive meals and honoraria to speak at public events about certain Novartis drugs, including hypertension drugs Lotrel and Valturna and diabetes drug Starlix. Some of the government’s claims originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Novartis employee Oswald Bilotta. In July 2020, Novartis agreed to pay $729 million to settle two separate federal government actions—filed in New York and Massachusetts—involving the alleged kickback scheme. The Massachusetts action alleged Novartis illegally paid the Medicare co-pays for the drugs Gilenya and Afinitor by funneling the money through three charitable foundations.

Misconduct Type
Ethics
Enforcement Agency
Justice
Contracting Party
Health and Human Services
Court Type
Civil
Disposition
Settlement
Date of Government Complaint
4/26/2013
Contractors Involved Penalty
Total
Novartis AG $729,250,000
Further Information Released
DOJ Press Release 7/1/2020
New York Settlement 7/1/2020
Massachusetts Settlement 6/30/2020
DOJ Press Release 4/26/2013
Government Complaint 4/26/2013
Bilotta Complaint 3/21/2013

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database