Rost Successful in His Second Crack at Pfizer

 By: Joel Androphy, Rachel Grier, and Scott Braden

In August 2006, Peter Rost, a former Pfizer marketing executive, was dealt a crushing blow by the U.S. District Court in Boston when it dismissed his ­qui tam action for failing to plead his fraud claims with specific particularity as required by Rule 9(b).  On appeal, the First Circuit agreed that Rost failed to plead specific enough details, but vacated the dismissal and remanded Rost’s claims because the district court never ruled on Rost’s motion to amend his complaint. Last month, Rost’s second trip to the district court proved to be much more successful when it concluded that the amended complaint satisfied the heightened pleading requirement.

Rost’s original complaint detailed the mechanics of an alleged fraudulent scheme that Pfizer implemented to market its drug Genotropin to physicians for off-label anti-aging and body improvement purposes, but it failed to specify any specific claims that were sent to Medicaid.  The amended complaint corrected these deficiencies by alleging over 200 false claims, each of which listed the Medicaid reimbursement codes, the medical diagnosis accompanying the claim, the dates of the diagnosis and the dispensation of the drugs, and the prescription dosage.  

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