FCA Win for Pharmaceutical Client at Fourth Circuit

The firm represented a global pharmaceutical company in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case in which an employee alleged that the company engaged in off-label marketing in connection with one of its products. In a January 2013 decision addressing the pleading demands for complaints filed under the FCA, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rejected the relator’s request to apply a more lenient pleading requirement in cases in which a relator is unable to show that actual false claims were submitted for government reimbursement. The Fourth Circuit held that the FCA requires allegations of specific false claims where a scheme merely alleges that such claims were possible. This decision is likely to have a significant impact on FCA cases pending in the Fourth Circuit, and will give FCA defendants nationwide a clear, well-reasoned decision to cite in support of motions to dismiss claims for failure to plead actual false claims with particularity. A full Patterson Belknap Alert on the FCA decision is available here.