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Posted 15 February 2012
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced on 14 February that they have recovered over $4.1 billion from individuals and companies "who attempted to defraud seniors and taxpayers or who sought payments to which they were not entitled," including $1.3 billion from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.
The amount marks the largest total amount recovered by OIG, which has heightened its enforcement activities in recent years thanks to a 2009 program known as the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) that provided them additional funding.
OIG noted that it obtained 21 criminal convictions involving pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and "$1.3 billion in criminal fines, forfeitures, restitution and disgorgement under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)." These actions were taken because of-among other reasons-illegal marketing and quality issues related to a product's strength, purity or quality.