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More Than 500 Backlogged Whistle-Blower Cases Allege Health Care, Drug Company Fraud

04 Jul 08

Whistle-blower lawsuits alleging that pharmaceutical companies and government contractors defrauded the federal government have created a backlog of more than 900 cases at the Department of Justice, the Washington Post reports. According to the Post, more than 500 of the cases involve the health care and pharmaceutical industries, as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

Lawyers involved in the backlogged disputes say DOJ "cannot keep pace with the surge in charges brought by whistle-blowers," the Post reports. Since 2001, 300 to 400 civil cases have been filed each year; however, the 75-lawyer unit that reviews the allegations investigates about 100 cases annually. Whistle-blowers routinely wait 14 or more months to find out whether DOJ will get involved in the case, during which time whistle-blowers are not allowed to discuss or disclose the existence of such disputes.

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