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October 29, 2015.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that Warner Chilcott has agreed to plead guilty to healthcare fraud and pay $125 million to resolve civil and criminal liability arising from the illegal promotion of the drugs Actonel, Asacol, Atelvia, Doryx, Enablex, Estrace, and Loestrin, and various formulations of these drugs. According to DOJ, the company's marketing scheme involved paying kickbacks to health care professionals to prescribe its drugs as well as filling out and submitting fraudulent prior authorization requests to evade Medicare and Medicaid formulary restrictions, also a violation of patients' privacy protections under HIPAA. DOJ also today announced the indictments of former company president Carl Reichel and district managers Timothy Garcia and Landon Eckles. On Tuesday, DOJ filed an indictment against Rita Luthra, a Massachusetts physician. Last July, district manager Jeffrey Podolosky also pled guilty. The civil settlement resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. The Simmer Law Group, Seeger Weiss and MoloLamken represented the two whistleblowers in the case.