Between 1991 and 2017, pharmaceutical companies paid fewer federal and state fines for fraudulent behavior than in previous years.
According to a report compiled by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, drug makers paid $2.9 billion to settle 38 cases involving federal and state civil and criminal charges in 2016 and 2017 – substantially less than the 117 settlements totaling $49.8 billion during 2012 and 2013. Federal settlements alone declined even more sharply, from $394 million to $97 million in the same five-year period, representing a 75 percent drop.
State and federal violations included unlawful marketing, overcharging government health-care programs, and concealing data, among other infractions. The analysts speculated that the decline in penalties is the result of the U.S. Department of Justice having turned its attention to other industries and types of violations. They also noted that the trend began during the Obama administration.
Source: STAT News, March 14, 2018.