A former Bayer employee who reported a doctor’s medical fraud in 2009 is still fighting to get his job back. Mike Townsend says Bayer refused to blow the whistle on one of its top clients, and then fired him when he chose to report the client for health care fraud.
Townsend was a pharmaceutical representative for Bayer, selling the company’s highly profitable Mirena intrauterine device. When he discovered one of his top clients was buying foreign devices unapproved for use in the United State and billing Medicaid as if they were Mirena IUD’s, he reported him to his supervisor at Bayer. Bayer, which also made the foreign device, allegedly did nothing, forcing Townsend to report Dr. Shrum himself. Townsend was then fired.
An Arkansas jury found in 2012 that Bayer wrongfully terminated Townsend, awarding him nearly $1 million in back pay and damages, but the company has still refused to reinstate Townsend despite the court’s order. Bayer is also facing legal challenges for the Mirena IUD at the heart of the fraud lawsuit.
Thousands of Mirena lawsuits have been filed against Bayer alleging that the company’s device caused severe injuries. Patients who have received the device have complained of complications such as severe pain, internal bleeding and tissue damage when the device perforates the uterus and travels to other parts of the body.