News & Publications

John Linehan Quoted in “PBM Executive Pleads Guilty in $3.5 Million Kickback Scheme”

Drug Benefit News

John S. Linehan, an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Baltimore and Washington, DC, offices, was quoted in Drug Benefit News, in “PBM Executive Pleads Guilty in $3.5 Million Kickback Scheme,” by Jane Anderson.

Following is an excerpt:

The case may not help PBMs’ public image, which has taken a series of hits recently as the industry draws scrutiny from lawmakers and others eager to find a culprit for the high cost of pharmaceuticals (DBN 3/24/17, p. 1). But the practices the case exposes are obviously illegal and far from the norm, says John Linehan, an attorney in the health and sciences practice for Epstein Becker Green who focuses on pharmacy law, drug distribution and reimbursement, and related fraud and abuse issues.

“This case does not shed light on the manifold legal and compliance complexities that surround PBM operations and contracting,” Linehan tells AIS Health. “Rather, it involves the payment of bribes that were siphoned off of administrative fees that were purposefully inflated by the parties to the scheme. These are not business activities that skirt close to the line — instead, they are brazenly criminal in nature.”

Linehan notes that opponents of the PBM industry may point to this “as yet another example of illicit behaviors by PBMs. Nevertheless, this matter can be distinguished as an exceptional case involving glaring individual misconduct that should not bear upon the PBM industry as a whole.”