Last week, Dallas-based Baron & Budd secured a major settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Endo”), which agreed to pay $13.25 million for fraudulently marketing Lidoderm for unapproved use. This, the suit claimed, was an alleged violation of federal and Texas Medicaid laws.
Baron & Budd shareholders Scott Simmer and Andrew Miller represented the whistleblowers – a former Endo sales representative and two other individuals, under MK Litigation Partnership LLC, who had extensive and detailed information about the sales and marketing tactics of the drug.
This case follows a 2014 settlement in which Endo agreed to pay $192.7 million to federal and state governments to resolve a lawsuit which alleged that the company marketed Lidoderm for uses not approved as safe and effective by the FDA. The state of Texas opted out of the federal fraud litigation and chose to bring a separate action under Texas law. Similar to the federal case, the suit brought by the State of Texas alleged that Endo deliberately chose to withhold information about negative outcomes in five clinically rigorous trials.
“We often read headlines about cases where a drug does more harm than good, but as taxpayers paying for programs like Medicaid, we should be outraged at having to pay for a drug that does nothing at all to help the patient because that wastes precious resources,” Simmer said. “In this case, our clients alleged that Endo deliberately chose to suppress the findings of five clinical trials it had sponsored, all of which showed Lidoderm was no more effective than a placebo for treating various types of pain.”
“The Texas Attorney General’s Office is very diligent in its prosecution of Medicaid fraud under the TMFPA,” Simmer said. “We thank [the state’s prosecutors] for their hard work and support of the role whistleblowers played in exposing this Lidoderm fraud.”
Baron & Budd was on the plaintiffs steering committee on the class action against Takata in a defective airbag suit. Leaders In The Law reported on that settlement in 2017.