LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached a settlement, along with 44 other states, with Omnicare Inc.
The settlement resolves allegations of fraud against the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company for entering into contracts with the drug company Organon USA Inc. and agreeing to recommend the prescription of antidepressant drugs Remeron and Remeron Sol Tab in exchange for monetary payments disguised as rebates.
Arkansas will receive $156,701.73 from the settlement.
“Omnicare’s actions were irresponsible and unlawful,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This type of fraud from large corporations harms those in need of antidepressant medications by potentially overprescribing them in exchange for a kickback. Health care providers should make prescription decisions based strictly on need, cost and value.”
The total value of the settlement is $23 million to settle the allegations of federal and state False Claims Acts. The government resolved similar allegations against Organon USA in 2014. Omnicare is the nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes and was acquired by CVS Health Corporation in August 2015.
This settlement resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit originally filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the settlement negotiations on behalf of the states and included attorneys general from California, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Texas.
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