November 6, 2013 —
HARRISBURG, PA — PA State Representative Brandon Neuman, D-Washington, said the $2.2 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries announced this week by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has significant ramifications for Pennsylvania.
The agreement to settle charges that the company marketed drugs for unapproved uses and paid “kickbacks” to doctors and nursing homes, according to an account on CNN, “results in what one plaintiff’s attorney called the largest whistleblower payout in U.S. history. Whistleblowers in three states will collect $167.7 million under the False Claims Act.”
Neuman said, “Pennsylvania remains the largest state in the nation without a false claims law, costing the state millions of dollars in lost damages.
“My bill, House Bill 1493, would enact a Pennsylvania False Claims Act and provide the necessary tools for the Commonwealth to recover the maximum amount possible from those who cheat or attempt to cheat the government,” he said.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have their own version of a False Claims Act that protect and reward whistleblowers, while punishing those who steal taxpayer dollars through fraudulent acts against state governments.