Professor Sucharit Bhakdi: “You are now witnessing the greatest crime that England has ever committed in its history.”
But over the past 20 years, local authorities have started to take a more police-like role. They issue an increasing number of penalties, carry out patrols, and issue new legal orders. This trend has been furthered under Covid, with new powers and funding to issue legal orders and penalties, and a new patrolling role for ‘Covid marshals’, who ensure businesses and individuals are following social-distancing rules. Over time, local authorities have also been increasingly released from legal and governmental checks on how powers are used, meaning that they now hold remarkable power over the lives of citizens.
Not a single person has been successfully prosecuted under the Coronavirus Act despite almost 300 people being charged, it has emerged.
Figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following a 12 month review, revealed that all 270 cases had been dropped before making it to court.
The vast majority of prosecutions were withdrawn because the police – confused by the constantly changing laws – had charged people with the wrong offence.
Published 9 September 2009
WASHINGTON – American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. (hereinafter together “Pfizer”) have agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products, the Justice Department announced today.
Wikipedia snapshot from 9 March 2021:
|Year||Company||Settlement||Violation(s)||Product(s)||Laws allegedly violated |
|2012||GlaxoSmithKline||$3 billion ($1B criminal, $2B civil)||Criminal: Off-label promotion, failure to disclose safety data. |
Civil: paying kickbacks to physicians, making false and misleading statements concerning the safety of Avandia, reporting false best prices and underpaying rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program
|Avandia (not providing safety data), Wellbutrin, Paxil (promotion of paediatric use), Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent, Valtrex||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2009||Pfizer||$2.3 billion||Off-label promotion, kickbacks||Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox, Lyrica||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2013||Johnson & Johnson||$2.2 billion||Off-label promotion, kickbacks||Risperdal, Invega, Nesiritide||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2012||Abbott Laboratories||$1.5 billion||Off-label promotion||Depakote||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2009||Eli Lilly||$1.4 billion||Off-label promotion||Zyprexa||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2001||TAP Pharmaceutical Products||$875 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks||Lupron||False Claims Act, Prescription Drug Marketing Act|
|2012||Amgen||$762 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks||Aranesp||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2010||GlaxoSmithKline||$750 million||Poor manufacturing practices||Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil CR, Avandamet||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2005||Serono||$704 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, monopolistic practices||Serostim||False Claims Act|
|2008||Merck||$650 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks||Zocor, Vioxx, Pepsid||False Claims Act, Medicaid Rebate Statute|
|2007||Purdue Pharma||$601 million||Off-label promotion||Oxycontin||False Claims Act|
|2010||Allergan||$600 million||Off-label promotion||Botox||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2010||AstraZeneca||$520 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks||Seroquel||False Claims Act|
|2007||Bristol-Myers Squibb||$515 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, Medicare fraud||Abilify, Serzone||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2002||Schering-Plough||$500 million||Poor manufacturing practices||Claritin||FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices|
|2006||Mylan||$465 million||Misclassification under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program||EpiPen (epinephrine)||False Claims Act|
|2006||Schering-Plough||$435 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, Medicare fraud||Temodar, Intron A, K-Dur, Claritin RediTabs||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2004||Pfizer||$430 million||Off-label promotion||Neurontin||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2008||Cephalon||$425 million||Off-label promotion||Actiq, Gabitril, Provigil||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2010||Novartis||$423 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks||Trileptal||False Claims Act, FDCA|
|2003||AstraZeneca||$355 million||Medicare fraud||Zoladex||Prescription Drug Marketing Act|
|2004||Schering-Plough||$345 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks||Claritin||False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute|
$3 billion GSK settlement. On 2 July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to a $3 billion settlement of the largest health-care fraud case in the U.S. and the largest payment by a drug company. The settlement is related to the company’s illegal promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data, bribing doctors, and promoting medicines for uses for which they were not licensed. The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, and Zofran for off-label, non-covered uses. Those and the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent, and Valtrex were involved in the kickback scheme. The government investigation of GSK was launched largely on the basis of information provided by four whistleblowers who filed two qui tam (whistleblower) lawsuits against the company under the False Claims Act. GSK settled the whistleblowers’ lawsuits for a total of $1.017 billion out of the $3 billion settlement, the largest civil False Claims Act settlement to date.
Pfizer $2.3 billion settlement: Pfizer settled multiple civil and criminal allegations for $2.3 billion in the largest case of pharmaceutical and health care fraud in US history. The drugs involved were Bextra (an anti-inflammatory drug), Geodon (an anti-psychotic drug), Lipitor (a cholesterol drug), Norvasc (anti-hypertensive drug), Viagra (erectile dysfunction), Zithromax (antibiotic), Zyrtec (antihistamine), Zyvox (an antibiotic), Lyrica (an anti-epileptic drug), Relpax (anti-migraine drug), Celebrex (anti-inflammatory drug), and Depo-provera (birth control).
Merck $650 million settlement: Merck settled a nominal pricing fraud case in which the company was accused of taking kickbacks and violating Medicaid best price regulations for various drugs.
United States et al., ex rel. Jim Conrad and Constance Conrad v. Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc, et al. involved a drug manufacturer selling a drug, Levothroid, that had never been approved by the FDA. These allegations settled for $42.5 million due to multiple whistleblowers stepping forward to provide detailed information on the alleged fraud. The collective reward to the relators in this case was over $14.6 million.
Wikipedia snapshot from 28 January 2021:
Lawyers at the Russell Cooke law firm express concerns about new Coronavirus Regulations.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 passed 10 Feb 2020
- Regulations were made without a draft being laid and approved by Parliament and came into effect immediately.
- This was permitted under the claim that it was necessary due to threat to human health from COVID-19.
- Allow the Secretary of State or a registered public health consultant to impose compulsory detention and isolation of people suspected of having COVID-19.
- Allow forced testing and screening for 48 hours.
- Power to restrict a person’s travel and other activities and to restrict a person’s contact with specified people.
- The police are given power under to enforce the regulations where a person is not willing to be isolated voluntarily using ‘reasonable force’.
- An isolated or detained individual will not be free to leave.
- Refusal to comply is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
- There are also powers in the regulations which envisage the detention of children, which could present its own issues.