Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced his intervention in a “qui tam” (whistleblower) lawsuit against Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS), one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. The lawsuit is the largest health insurance fraud case ever pursued by a California state agency.
Former employees of BMS filed a whistleblower action under seal in Superior Court in Los Angeles alleging that BMS bribed doctors to prescribe BMS drugs. The lawsuit alleges that the company provided illegal kickbacks to doctors in order to increase the company’s pharmaceutical sales in California. The Commissioner seeks monetary penalties and the disgorgement of millions of dollars in unlawful profits the company made as a result of kickbacks, plus treble damages. The kickback scheme ultimately came at the expense of the private health insurance industry, which paid for the drugs, and California consumers