The Federal government has accepted a $124 million settlement from Omnicare to resolve several claims initiated by company employees who reported illegal kickbacks and other improprieties to regulators. Omnicare is the largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes in the United States.
The whistleblower lawsuits, brought under the federal False Claims Act, challenged Omnicare’s practice of offering below-cost contracts to supply pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to skilled nursing facilities to secure provider contracts with these facilities. According to the whistleblower allegations, Omnicare then submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid above and beyond the claims submitted on behalf of the facilities in a scheme to increase profits.
A federal Anti-Kickback statute at issue prohibits the offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving compensation to induce referrals of matters involving federally funded programs including Medicare and Medicaid.
One of the primary whistleblowers against Omnicare, Donald Gale, will reportedly receive $17.2 million as compensation for bringing this allegedly illegal activity to the attention of authorities.
This lawsuit was the most recent in several whistleblower lawsuits brought by former Omnicare employees. In 2009, Omnicare paid the government $98 million, resolving a case where Johnson & Johnson paid millions in grants and education payments to motivate Omnicare pharmacists to recommend the psychiatric drug Risperdal to nursing homes.
If you are an employee with a company that does business with state and/or federal governments, and have witnessed potentially illegal activities, you are urged to contact a whistleblower attorney at Audet & Partners, LLP to discuss whether you may have a valid whistleblower claim against your employer. Employees are specifically protected by statutes against retaliatory actions of their employees who bring whistleblower claims. To learn more, contact Audet & Partners, LLP at (800) 965-1461, or by comple and submit our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page.