Corporate Counsel: You Might Want To Re-Examine That General Release


Drug makers are one of the most popular and no doubt most lucrative targets for whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.  In the last few years, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Abbott, and Eli Lilly have each reached settlements in excess of one billion dollars with the government for claims relating to off label marketing.  In an effort to reduce the likelihood of a qui tam action and to bring closure to a former employee’s tenure, drug makers and other employers often offer severance packages in exchange for the execution of a general release.  Employers depend on the language of a release to be effective in barring an employee from pursuing claims of discrimination, retaliation, or other wrongdoing.  However, a pair of decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit create significant loopholes which could substantially limit the value of a general release to an employer and provide a cautionary tale to employers and whistleblowers alike.
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The Characteristics of a Great Compliance Officer


As a federal prosecutor for the past decade, I have prosecuted complex white-collar cases, coordinated extensive criminal investigations, and enforced federal healthcare laws. One of the most important duties of a prosecutor is the assessment of a corporation’s compliance program in order to uncover the extent of criminal activity and to make the determination of whether or not the entity will be prosecuted. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) involvement in healthcare fraud investigations begins after allegations of criminal violations are alleged, thus giving federal prosecutors a unique vantage point and the opportunity to review decisions, audits, investigations and policies of corporate compliance programs.
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Responding to Anti-Corruption Concerns in Brazil: Considerations for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sectors


Brazil’s booming economy includes a dynamic pharmaceutical sector, with numerous private and government owned pharmaceutical companies, rapidly growing retail sales, and an expanding system of health care coverage through the country.  Multinational pharmaceutical companies are investing in Brazil both for marketing and sales directed within the country and as a platform for sales exports throughout South America, and local companies are working hard to maintain and increase their market shares.  Estimates of the size of Brazil’s pharmaceutical and medical devise sectors vary, but it is likely in the range of about $25 billion annually.
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