When Oswald Bilotta landed his dream job as a sales representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in 1999, he thought he’d be doing good for society while doing well for himself and his family.
He had no idea that just over a decade later, he’d be part of a vast federal investigation into kickbacks at Novartis and that he’d be paying cash bribes to doctors while wearing a wire for prosecutors.
On July 1, Ozzie Bilotta’s yearslong effort to blow the whistle at Novartis paid off. The Justice Department announced a $678 million settlement with the company over improper inducements it made to doctors to prescribe 10 of the company’s drugs, including the anti-hypertension drug Lotrel. The deal represents the biggest whistleblower settlement under the federal anti-kickback law, Bilotta’s lawyer said.
“I felt like you needed to take drastic action to turn this system upside down and make it more legit,” Bilotta,