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Sarah Franklin is vice-chair of Covington’s Life Sciences Litigation and Investigations practice group.

Ms. Franklin has defended numerous criminal and civil enforcement actions and conducted internal investigations covering a broad range of health care compliance issues, including fraud and abuse, advertising and promotion, price reporting, and manufacturing issues.

Life Sciences Investigations and Compliance

  • Defense of numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device companies in ongoing criminal and civil investigations of sales and marketing, fraud and abuse, and government price reporting conduct.
  • Compliance expert to the Board of Directors of a pharmaceutical company in connection with deferred prosecution agreement and corporate integrity agreement obligations.
  • Advice to pharmaceutical companies on kickback and related issues associated with patient and reimbursement support programs for specialty products.
  • Obtained criminal declination in DOJ investigation of device company concerning marketing practices.   
  • Obtained criminal and civil declination in DOJ investigation of biotechnology company concerning marketing practices.
  • Represented GlaxoSmithKline in federal criminal and civil investigations, 2012 global resolution of three investigations concerning sales, marketing, pricing, and FDA reporting practices involving the company’s major products, and related 2014 multistate consumer protection resolution.
  • Represented Alpharma, Inc. in federal investigation and 2010 civil resolution concerning alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Represented Merck in investigation and 2008 civil resolution with United States and 49 states related to price reporting and sales and marketing practices.
  • Conducted internal investigations on behalf of pharmaceutical and device companies regarding good manufacturing practices, conduct of clinical trials, and FDA post-marketing reporting.
  • Represented pharmaceutical and device manufacturers in congressional investigations related to support of independent medical education and consultant payments.

Other Investigations

  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in an internal investigation of alleged whistleblower claims by a former in-house compliance attorney.
  • Represented the Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors of a publicly traded company in connection with shareholder derivative litigation focused on self-dealing and misuse of corporate assets.
  • Represented a multinational company in an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations in Latin America.
  • Represented the Audit Committee of a publicly traded real estate investment trust in an investigation relating to debt covenant compliance and financial reporting issues.

Pro Bono

  • Represent a community-based health care services organization in responding to a federal subpoena and third-party subpoenas.
  • Filed amicus curiae brief for association of criminal defense counsel in support of a petition for certiorari on the issue of pre-indictment enforcement of non-prosecution agreements.
  • Identified potential litigation risks on behalf of national nonprofit youth organization that provides educational programs to girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.

Previous Experience

  • Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Marketing Practices, Attorney (2001–2003)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, "Rising Star" (2013-2016)