Omnicare to Settle Whistle-Blower Suit

Court documents filed Friday show the long-term care pharmaceutical giant, Omnicare, Inc. has agreed to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit involving millions of dollars in kickbacks.

Omnicare agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming it paid a kickback in purchasing Total Pharmacy Services LLC in 2004, and that it submitted false claims for reimbursement to government health insurers, as was reported in the Chicago Tribune.

In 2007, a whistle-blowing, former pharmacy company executive filed a lawsuit, stating that Omnicare’s $25 million purchase of the pharmacy company included a kickback to one of its owners and his father in exchange for contracts with dozens of nursing homes.

In May, Omnicare agreed to pay $50 million to the Department of Justice over charges that it was responsible for giving nursing home residents medications without a prescription, with missing prescription information or without documentation. The agency called it the “largest controlled substance settlement in history.” It also agreed to pay $21 million in 2010 over allegations that they overcharged Medicaid.

In 2009 they settled a lawsuit over civil allegations by the U.S. government and various states, that they were involved in a kickback arrangement with several parties, including Johnson & Johnson and drug manufacturer IVAX, for approximately $98 million.

Omnicare, suppliers of medicine to millions of nursing home residents in facilities across the country, declined to comment Friday, but has previously told the Tribune that the allegations are without merit.

The case was brought under the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to file lawsuits against companies and individuals defrauding the government and to recover funds on behalf of the government.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed but a hearing has been set for September 25, 2012.

For more information, contact a Gacovino & Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HUR T(4878).

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