Team led by David Stone and Robert Magnanini of Stone & Magnanini and the U.S. Government Settle $313 Million Case Against Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

November 5th, 2010

LEAD PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY IN FOREST PHARMACEUTICALS CASE SAYS $313 MILLION AWARD IS “TIP OF THE ICEBERG” OF FUTURE OFF-LABEL MARKETING LAWSUITS

SHARP INCREASE IN WHISTLE-BLOWER ACTIONS EXPECTED AS GOVERNMENT RAMPS UP EFFORTS AGAINST PHARMA COMPANIES

SHORT HILLS, NJ – September 15, 2010 – Fresh off his victory for a whistle-blower in the Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. lawsuit, attorney David Stone is setting his sights on the billions of dollars of settlements he expects to see awarded in future legal actions involving off-labeling marketing practices.

“The award of $313 million in the Forest Pharmaceuticals case is just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the amount of off-label marketing claim settlements we’ll see in the future,” Stone said.

He added, “Pharmaceutical companies are under increasing competitive pressures. Unfortunately, in their attempts to increase product sales, many are engaging in deceptive and illegal conduct, which has risked patients’ lives and well-being and cost taxpayers millions of healthcare dollars.”

Stone, managing partner of the Short Hills, NJ-based law firm of Stone & Magnanini LLP, represented the physician who brought many of the claims against Forest Pharmaceuticals to the government’s attention in a 2001 False Claims Act lawsuit. He previously served as the head of the False Claims Act department for the renowned litigator, David Boies.

Stone explained that the Federal government is now focusing much more broadly on pharmaceutical industry marketing practices. Specifically, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) are scrutinizing practices tied to relations between drug makers and the physicians who endorse their products; the content and distribution of product promotional materials; and the complex inter-relationship of manufacturers, physicians, insurers and others in the drug-delivery chain.

“With more procedural scrutiny – and more organizations being scrutinized – there will be a direct and dramatic increase in the number of people who initiate lawsuits of off-label marketing practices,” Stone explained. “In short, the government’s broadened prosecutorial strategies will expand the number of healthcare industry players who represent potential whistle-blowers.”

Forest Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, Inc. agreed to settle pending False Claims Act allegations that Forest caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for the antidepressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro, and a drug used to treat hypothyroidism: Levothroid. Among the government’s claims, Forest promoted Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved pediatric use, causing substantial risks for the treatment of children and adolescents with depression. In total, Forest agreed to pay more than $313 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from these allegations.

Stone’s firm specializes in False Claims Act qui tam actions in the pharmaceutical fraud area – initiating legal actions on behalf of individuals, as well as for third-party payers. Stone & Magnanini also works with pharmaceutical companies to review their existing practices and procedures in light of current DOJ and OIG policy-related initiatives.

Stone has over a decade’s experience in prosecuting false claims cases, and has assisted the government in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars from healthcare companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, and Medco.

“A whole ‘new character of claims cases’ is emerging as the DOJ escalates its attacks on unsanctioned marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies,” Stone said. “As a result, more and more people will rally behind the government’s efforts by serving as whistle-blowers who come from many different segments of the drug-delivery eco-system.”

Stone & Magnanini LLP is a boutique litigation firm founded by David Stone and Robert Magnanini, former partners of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. The firm’s practice focuses on representing whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases, and on other types of complex litigation.