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Will increasingly more medical actors become litigation targets?

One commentator in a recent national media focus on medical actors being targeted in criminal and civil investigations refers to "a new permutation" that is well worth noting in the health care industry. He calls it "the beginning of the next round" for what might be in store for legions of medical industry participants, ranging from pharmaceutical drug makers and wholesale manufacturers to pharmacies and other entities.

Here is what he's talking about: new strategies employed by various individuals and groups to legally pursue drug companies and others for alleged fraud-related acts such as price fixing and collusion.

The efforts are high-profile, given hyped stories in recent months regarding high price increases for various generic offerings in the pharmaceutical industry.

The most prominent display of targeting and penalties being sought for alleged drug price spikes is certainly a lawsuit filed late last year in federal court by attorneys general of 20 states, including New York.

The civil complaint lodged by those officials alleges unlawful price hikes engineered for various generic drugs, with the plaintiffs contending that actors at myriad levels of multiple drug companies have been actively colluding to drive up prices and otherwise manipulate markets.

The lawsuit cites "a broad, running series of schemes" relevant to many generic products across the country.

The new urgency and force unveiled in targeting alleged illegality begs this question: Where there's smoke, is there always fire?

That query is important because, as the above-cited article notes, new and geared-up targeting and enforcement efforts "could ignite a legal domino effect" pursuant to which increasingly more medical actors are swept up in probes and end up as civil and criminal defendants.

We have often noted in prior select blog posts the level of regulatory scrutiny and enforcement that constantly challenges the health care industry, which is likely unprecedented in any other realm.

There are bad actors in every industry. In proceeding against them, it seems hard to argue that law enforcers often cast their nets so wide that legions of good-faith and lawfully abiding industry participants are swept up in the turmoil.

Daniels, Porco & Lusardi, LLP, has a long and demonstrated record of forceful and effective legal advocacy on behalf of diverse medical industry professionals. We welcome readers' questions and concerns regarding any health care-related matter.

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