A year ago, when the U.S. Justice Department issued guidance urging prosecutors to dismiss allegedly meritless whistleblower cases, defense lawyers cheered what they considered a significant new check on lawsuits alleging fraud against the government.

It didn’t take long for Justice Department lawyers to act on the guidance, which put a new focus on the False Claims Act, a law that allows whistleblowers to bring cases alleging fraud against government programs and keep a portion of any awarded damages. In December alone, the Justice Department moved to dismiss 11 whistleblower lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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