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Pursuit of justice continues in retaliation lawsuit

Abbott Laboratories makes generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices and more. The Chicago-based company has found itself in court recently, facing allegations from a former employee who says the medication-maker fired her after she complained about the firm's promotion practices.

A U.S. District judge recently rejected Abbott's request for dismissal of the retaliation lawsuit.

The judge had previously dismissed the former worker's complaints that the company violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.

The judge said the woman's claims would have been dismissed entirely if she and her employment law attorneys had argued that her employment was terminated for reporting that Abbott submitted false billing. But the woman claims she was fired "for her reports concerning public welfare, as protected by regulations prohibiting medical device off-label and pre-approval promotion."

The woman alleges that Abbott illegally pushed healthcare providers to submit fraudulent claims for two Abbott products (Xience stents and medical implant Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold). She says Abbott promoted Xience for years for off-label use for patients with diabetes mellitus before it was finally approved for that use last year.

She also alleges that the company promoted Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold before it had FDA approval. She said the use of the implant before approval amounted to experimentation on humans.

We do not know what the outcome of her lawsuit will be, but she and her attorney will get the chance to present their evidence and arguments. So they have cleared a big hurdle and now move to the next in their quest for justice in the workplace and court.

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