Week in Review, September 4, 2012

The PharmaCertify™ Team

At last, this past weekend was the time to dust off the pompoms and break out the stadium seats! Fall “officially” arrived with the start of the college football season! This is truly the most wonderful time of the year! Decorating the car with magnets and flags, preparing a game day feast for family and friends, and let us not forget the ever important ritual of face and body painting. Good times, good times. After such festivities and a long holiday weekend, it’s hard to focus and get back to work, but we’re here to help kick off this first work week of fall with the News Week in Review.

We’ll kickoff this week’s review with a story of kickbacks. Omincare has struck an agreement in principle in a whistleblower suit that accuses the company, and its owner, of paying kickbacks when it purchased a pharmacy services company. The government declined to join the suit. Omincare has agreed to settle the suit, but the company’s owner has not, and that case continues.

Pharmaceutical sales reps in India haven’t exactly been cheerleaders for their industry, as made obvious by the day-long strike by the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives’ Associations of India. The group protested against threats to job security, high prices of drugs and corporate corruption in the industry. In a letter, the FMRAI said the effort to shift responsibility for corporate corruption onto sales representatives has led to reps being banned from hospitals and medical institutions. The group says the true corruption is occurring at the corporate level and it is demanding that a statutory code of ethics be enacted.

And now for the halftime show! Taking the field is the American College of Informatimusicology with their salute to obtaining your medical information. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

The California Assembly passed a bill that will amend the state’s False Claims Act. The amendment will more closely align California’s law with the federal statute. Changes in the California law include increased protections for whistleblowers, provisions for awards to relators even if those relators were involved in the action that led to a violation, increased penalties for violations, and broadening of the definition of what constitutes a claim. The bill has been sent to the governor for signature.

The much anticipated FCPA guidance from the government appears to be advancing down the field ahead of schedule. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer had said the guidance would be released in November, but now sources say the government will release the guidance in advance of the OECD meeting in October. The release could come this month with the officials from the Justice Department scheduled to speak about the guidance at the National Conference on the FCPA.

Some Georgia men may find themselves wearing a black and white striped uniform, but it won’t be as referees. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged eight men with insider trading related to Sanofi-Aventis buying publically traded Chattem, a pharmaceutical products company. The SEC says one of the men, an accountant, learned of the pending sale from a client who had come to him to discuss the tax implications the Chattem purchase would have on his stock options. The accountant then shared the information with four friends and as the cliché goes, “they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on.”  The SEC said the group made just over $500,000 in trades. Four of the accused have agreed to settlements with the government without admitting wrongdoing. Cases against the other four men are moving forward.

Well folks, the clock has run down on this game, and all that’s left is to tune up the band and sing the Alma Mater before we head out of the stadium. We hope your team, high school or college, emerged victorious over the holiday weekend! Have a great, short, work week everyone.

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