What Motivates Whistleblowers

As Big Pharma has gone to the Justice Department woodshed lately–and come out with some record-setting settlements of off-label marketing claims–we’ve heard about the whistleblowers who often get those Justice investigations going, by suing over misbehaviors at their own companies. Specifically, about the cash they get when they share in government settlements, as the whistelblower law provides.

But a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that the money isn’t what motivates most whistleblowers to begin with, and the final payment may come only after severe upheaval in a whistleblower’s professional and personal life.

So if their impetus wasn’t money, what was it? Integrity, for one. Fear of legal consequences for themselves, personally, if they participated in what they saw as fraudulent behavior. And worries about how off-label use of drugs could hurt patients’ health. Many said they protested internally first, filing suits only after those efforts didn’t work–or even backfired.

As they pursued their whistleblowing, these folks often spent so much on legal fees that their marriages and personal finances suffered. The stress may have triggered panic attacks, insomnia, shingles, psoriasis, autoimmune disease and so on.

Full Article and Source:
NEJM: Wherefore Art Thou Whistleblowers?

8 Responses to “What Motivates Whistleblowers”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    People get black balled and fired for complaining.I can remember before Pfizer took over Warner Lambert and I sat down to lunch, I was handed a bingo card. I inquired what this was for, and, the marketing person they were trialing in the lunch room "Depression Bingo". Okay I said. As I read the card I realized the card had an array of emotions we all cycle through on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. When I made a comment to the marketing person, the person said exactly. We are going to get the elderly hooked.Warner Lambert was going to give these games out at Senior Citizen's centers and nursing homes, so that people would think they were depressed and would ask their doctor for the drug Warners Lambert was marketing for Forest Labs. And if the elderly did not ask for it the staff at the centers would recommend it. The marketing team thought it was brilliant.I was so disgusted I threw my food in the garbage and the bingo card.I was no longer interested in eating, because I was so upset that the company would exploit the elderly that way.This type of targeting is going on everyday.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What motivates whistleblowers – there actually are some good people in the world who have a conscience.

  3. Holly Says:

    WHAT"S WRONG IS WRONG and sometimes you have to sacrifice for what you believe in.Selling and causing drugs to be administered fraudulently is wrong!!My mother was prescribed a VERY dangerous anti-psychotic drug under false pretenses by a court appointed professional guardian, Jetta Getty of Port Orange Florida.Why would Getty do that???Wrong is wrong… I stand up for what I believe… I will not be silent…GO WHISTLEBLOWERS!!!

  4. StandUp Says:

    THANK GOD for whistleblowers!

  5. Norma Says:

    We owe Whistleblowers a standing ovation!

  6. GuardianshipGulags Says:

    >Whistleblowers seem to have different motives. Donald Housey was Administrator/Register at Macomb County Probate Court in Michigan. It appears that a judge and her pals were very upset when he obliged the State Court Administrative Office by forwarding case files indicating further evidence of the judge's conservatorship cronyism w/ attorney fiduciaries. Mr. House was fired, Yep. He wants his job back and is claiming relief as a Whistleblower.

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