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Janssen Thwarting Docs Order in Kickback Suit, Court Told


December 16, 2022

Pharmaceutical giant Janssen is refusing to comply with previous orders for discovery, impeding the progress of a suit alleging that it paid kickbacks to doctors to boost sales of certain drugs, attorneys for a relator told a Massachusetts federal judge Thursday.

In a memorandum to U.S. District Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor, relator Julie Long said Janssen had not complied with previous orders to produce answers about its affirmative defenses in the False Claims Act case, several “discrete categories of highly relevant documents” that were supposed to be turned over three months ago, as were all documents being withheld under a claim of privilege.

“The company’s stonewalling and evasiveness are stymieing progress, including delaying the creation of the court-ordered plan for searching for and producing relevant documents from current and former employees who had significant involvement,” the memorandum said. “Janssen cannot be permitted to continue ignoring the court’s orders and the federal rules.”

The 120-page qui tam action was first filed in 2016. It alleged that beginning around 2003, Janssen provided a “wide variety of practice management and infusion suite operational support and consulting services and related programs” to some rheumatology and gastroenterology practices. The services were said to have helped the doctors open in-office infusion suites and induce them to prescribe and infuse Janssen’s rheumatoid arthritis drugs Remicade and Simponi ARIA.

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Julie Long is represented by Jonathan Shapiro and Lynn G. Weissberg of Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin and Casey M. Preston, Gary L. Azorsky, Jeanne A. Markey, Leslie Kroeger, Theodore Jon Leopold, Diana L. Martin and Poorad Razavi of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

Read the article on Law360. (Subscription required.)