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Wire-Wearing Novartis Whistle-Blower Gets $109 Million Award

  • Company agreed to pay $678 million to resolve U.S. lawsuit
  • Drugmaker was accused of paying kickbacks to doctors
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A former Novartis AG sales representative will get a $109.4 million whistle-blower award, one of the largest such payouts ever, after the Swiss pharmaceutical giant agreed to resolve a lawsuit accusing it of paying kickbacks to thousands of doctors who prescribed its drugs.

Novartis agreed earlier this month to pay $678 million to end the suit, which claimed the drugmaker defrauded government programs like Medicare through its bribery of doctors. Sales representative Oswald Bilotta filed the suit in 2011 under the False Claims Act, which allows whistle-blowers to sue on behalf of the U.S. government and collect a percentage of any settlement or award.