As the number and novelty of False Claims Act (FCA) cases brought against health care and life sciences companies continue to grow, it is important to understand the role of whistleblowers, who continue to bring the vast majority of FCA cases.
In federal fiscal year 2016:
- Whistleblowers filed 702 qui tam cases — an average of 13.5 new cases a week. Over 500 of these were against health care and life sciences companies.
- The federal government recovered $4.7 billion from FCA cases.
- Whistleblowers received $519 million in relators’ share. Over $450 million of that amount was paid to relators in health care and life sciences cases.
Despite the frequency of such suits and their substantial impact on the health care and life sciences industries, little is known about how relators find their cases, select their counsel, interact with the government, choose their courts, relate to each other, finance their cases and resolve them in the event of a government declination. Understanding the answers to these questions will better position health care and life sciences companies to avoid such suits in the first place and to deal with them should they arise.