Sun Pharma faces retaliation lawsuit from former sales rep, its third in a year

Former Sun Pharmaceuticals sales representative Jeannine Umpleby filed a retaliation lawsuit against the drugmaker, claiming she was fired for complaining that a district manager improperly distributed drugs to physicians.

The court document alleges that in July and September of 2019, Ms. Umpleby received two calls from a physician's office alerting her that it received a shipment of sample products from a Sun Pharma district manager. Believing this to be a violation of FDA regulations, Ms. Umpleby reported the incidents to a supervisor.

Ms. Umpleby claims she was told that the district manager was reprimanded after the first incident, but she was ignored when she reported the second incident. Her complaint says she was fired in March for "purportedly making fraudulent calls based on discrepancies in mileage." The document also alleges no other sales representative has had their call activity or mileage reports audited.

In its July 13 response to Ms. Umpleby's complaint, Sun Pharma denied that her termination was issued because she reported FDA violations. Sun Pharma also emailed a statement to Becker's July 15 stating "This individual was terminated for violating company policy. We can't comment further on this matter."

The lawsuit is the latest retaliation case filed against Sun Pharma, following a July 2019 lawsuit filed by a former sales representative and a November 2019 lawsuit filed by a former national account director. They both believed they were wrongfully fired for their objection to off-label marketing.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:45 a.m. CDT on July 15 to include Sun Pharma's statement.

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