Omnicare No Stranger to False Claims Act – History Reveals Dozens of Whistleblower Cases

Last week, we reported on a landmark victory against Ohio-based pharmacy services corporation Omnicare. In the highest-ever False Claims Act settlement not involving an intervention by the Department of Justice, our firm was able to recover $120 million on behalf of American taxpayers, including a sizable reward for the whistleblower himself.

Omnicare

Image from wlwt.com

As you review the facts of the most recent Omnicare settlement, keep in mind that this company is no stranger to fraud, having settled close to one dozen other cases involving similar misconduct. As this post will explore, Omnicare’s usual course of business apparently involves complex kickback schemes, bribery, unlawful contract negotiations and “swapping” schemes.

Omnicare: A Historical Portrait of Fraud

 

November, 2006

Omnicare is accused of intentionally maximizing its profits by unlawfully switching patient prescriptions. More specifically, Omnicare thought it best to alter patient medications from one specifically-prescribed formulation to another higher-paying formulation. This was done without the knowledge or consent of the patient, the patient’s family or the physician. Omnicare paid $49.6 million to settle the lawsuit, and entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Office of Inspector General.

November, 2009

Omnicare remitted $98 million and signed an additional Corporate Integrity Agreement to resolve five FCA lawsuits. These particular lawsuits involved the following allegations of misconduct:

    – Improperly obtaining contracts by paying inflated prices and loaning another entity money to buy a nursing home chain in exchange for the promise to contract. These improper agreements resulted in thousands of claims to federal and state health care programs;

    – Accepting kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and using doctored invoices to avoid detection from federal and state auditors;

    – Accepting an $8 million payment from a pharmaceutical company in exchange for the promise to buy generic drugs from the company once the brand name patent expired;

    – Providing generic drugs to patients while invoicing for the most costly brand name version;

    – Providing customers below-market rates for pharmacist consultants in exchange for referrals;

    – Recommending certain prescriptions to nursing home residents in exchange for discounts from manufacturers;

    – Accepting rebates from Johnson & Johnson in exchange for Omnicare’s promotion of certain anti-psychotic drugs over competitors.

April, 2013

Allegations of unlawful kickbacks from drug company in exchange for promotion of certain medications over their competitors. Litigation is ongoing.

June, 2013

Allegations of accepting kickbacks from Total Pharmacy in exchange for Total Pharmacy’s promise to provide services to certain nursing homes. Thereafter, Omnicare purchased Total Pharmacy for an inflated price and locked in the above-mentioned kickback “contract” for five years. Omnicare settled for $17.2 million while other involved defendants settled for $5 million

Cases

Image from fbi.gov

Whistleblowers Help Curtail Widespread Fraud

Each of the above cases was commenced with the help of a whistleblower like you; an uninvolved person with inside information of fraud willing to come forward to put a stop to the misconduct. It is quite possible that, by making a claim, you are adding to one of many past and present claims against an entity and could be a pivotal component to finally stopping the fraud for good.

In tomorrow’s post, we will explore several additional claims against Omnicare pending in jurisdictions across the U.S. If you have information about possible health care fraud, contact a whistleblower attorney like Berger Montague right away.

By | 2018-03-26T11:14:47+00:00 October 30th, 2013|False Claims Act Legal News, Healthcare Fraud|