Chicago Man Blew Whistle On Johnson & Johnson
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(CBS) — Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2 billion to settle some serious criminal and civil charges.
The company was accused of promoting drugs that were not yet approved and paying kickbacks.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports a Chicago man helped spark the investigation.
Attorney Linda Wyetzner says her client was just one little pharmacist who took on a giant.
“He was looking out for his patients and, frankly, looking out for the taxpayers,” she says.
Twelve years ago, Bernard Lisitza worked at Omnicare when he discovered the pharmacy company was changing the anti-psychotic drugs given to nursing home patients.
Wyetzner says Lisitza charged Omnicare was getting kickbacks from Johnson & Johnson to switch to the company’s drugs. He went to his superiors.
“He’s a remarkable, remarkable man — very brave,” the attorney says.
Lisitza was fired. He went to the government under the federal whistle blower’s law.
Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Johnson & Johnson and three of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil claims.
Bernard Lisitza will get a portion of that amount, but his attorney says money was not his motivation.
“He didn’t know there was any money in this, he just saw a problem and wanted to fix it,” his attorney says.
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson says the “resolution allows the company to move forward.”