Is there a reward for whistleblowing?

What are the Potential Rewards or Incentives to Whistleblow?

Whistleblowing in the healthcare industry can potentially lead to several rewards or incentives contingent upon your case on behalf of the government prevailing. Most incentives and possible awards will depend on factors of your case such as: The amount of money involved,  laws and regulations by state or jurisdiction and how long the case takes on behalf of the government. Here is a list of some common potential rewards and incentives for healthcare whistleblowers

  1. Financial Rewards for a Healthcare Whistleblower:

    • One of the primary incentives for whistleblowing in the healthcare industry is the possibility of financial rewards. In many cases, whistleblowers can be eligible for a percentage of the monetary damages or fines recovered as a result of their disclosures. This can occur through qui tam provisions of laws such as the False Claims Act in the United States, where whistleblowers can receive a portion (typically 15-30%) of the recovered funds. Rewards in the Healthcare are not set only a range due to the case by case nature of complaints. 
  2. Job Protection and Whistleblower Protection Laws:

    • Whistleblower protection laws exist in many states to safeguard individuals from retaliation by their employers for reporting misconduct. These laws may provide job reinstatement, back pay for lost money while filing the claim and being unable to work, and other remedies in case of retaliation. The protection of one's employment and legal recourse against retaliation are significant incentives for individuals considering whistleblowing.
  3. Public Interest/Improved Healthcare Practices:

    • Whistleblowers in the healthcare industry often act out of a sense of public duty and ethical responsibility. The satisfaction of exposing wrongdoing, protecting patients, and improving the integrity of the healthcare system can be a personal reward. By exposing fraud, safety violations, or unethical conduct, whistleblowers contribute to improving patient care, ensuring regulatory compliance, and preventing harm to individuals. Which is seen as a plus for many. 
  4. Character and Career Rewards:

    • Whistleblowers who uncover significant cases of wrongdoing in the healthcare industry may receive recognition and praise from their professional communities, industry peers, and the public. Media stations, private or local health journals and even public recognition of the DOJ effort will help give recognition for your actions and promote your future job endeavors and opportunities. 

Whistleblowing can be a challenging and transformative experience. It requires bravery, resilience, and a commitment to ethical principles. Whistleblowers often develop valuable skills in investigating, documenting, and presenting evidence, which can enhance their professional capabilities and career prospects.

Examples of Rewards Won:

  1. Millennium Health (2021): Millennium Health settled a case for over $20 million dollars after the DOJ aggressively pursued Kickback Statute violations after a reported scheme that included improperly billing government healthcare programs for inpatient services and paying remuneration to physicians in return for patient rewards.
  2. Johnson & Johnson (2013): Johnson & Johnson settled a lawsuit for $2.2 billion in civil and criminal fines. The case involved illegal promotion of off-label uses of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, paying kickbacks to doctors, and making false claims about the drug's safety and effectiveness. A whistleblower received over $167 million as a reward.
  3. GlaxoSmithKline (2012): GlaxoSmithKline settled a case for $3 billion in civil and criminal fines. The company was accused of marketing drugs for unapproved uses, failing to report safety data, and paying kickbacks to healthcare professionals. Several whistleblowers were collectively awarded hundreds of millions of dollars.
  4. Novartis (2010): Novartis settled a case for $422.5 million related to the illegal promotion of the drug Trileptal and kickbacks to healthcare providers. The whistleblower in this case received a reward of $25 million.
  5. Pfizer (2009): Pfizer paid $2.3 billion to settle allegations of illegally promoting various drugs, including the painkiller Bextra. Whistleblowers in this case received substantial rewards, including one who received over $102 million.

Mirza Healthcare Law Partners 

Ben Assad Mirza 

Aditya Sharma 

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If you are a physician, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, hospital, physician group, or medical lab looking for legal advice then you’ve reached the right site. Today’s healthcare environment is riddled with complex issues of professionalism, market strategy, and the law. Contact us now!


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