Firm Secures Dismissal in Pharmaceutical False Claims Act Case

September 15, 2011

A team from Patterson Belknap represented a major pharmaceutical company in connection with a False Claims Act matter filed by a qui tam plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that our client has been pursuing an off-label marketing strategy by marketing one of its drugs to physicians who do not treat patients for which the drug has an indicated use, and by sampling the drug in a dose that is not indicated for its primary use. The Patterson team successfully moved to dismiss the plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, but the plaintiff was given leave to replead. The Third Amended Complaint raised new allegations and new theories of liability, including a potentially far-reaching statistical theory to establish that our client caused others to submit false claims to federal health care programs. The Patterson lawyers again moved to dismiss, and after oral argument, the Virginia federal court dismissed the Complaint with prejudice in an opinion that may have important implications for the pharmaceutical industry.