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Update on Implications of Recent U.S. Government Enforcement Activities on Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Products Liability Actions

On March 19, 2015, the Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell released a report showing that the U.S. government’s health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered nearly $3.3 billion in taxpayer dollars in fiscal year 2014, $1 billion less than it recovered in fiscal year 2013.[1] While financial recovery dipped this year, the U.S. government has recovered $27.8 billion over the past seventeen years, since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) established a national Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (“HCFAC”).[2] Therefore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), other federal agencies, and individual state governments will certainly continue to focus their attention in coming years to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.[3]

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