Drug-firm executives under new scrutiny in Medicare fraud
Federal inspectors want to prevent drug-company executives from doing business with the U.S. government when their companies are convicted of Medicare fraud.
Under guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, executives can be barred from contracting with federal health programs when they knew, or if the inspector general concludes they should have known, about fraud at their firms. The guidelines were posted Oct. 20 on the office’s Web site. Authorities have been spurred by large settlements, said Robert DeConti, chief of the administrative and civil remedies branch in the inspector general’s Office of Counsel. GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $750 million on Oct. 26 for sale of defective drugs, and Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion in September 2009 for fraudulent marketing of medicine.