AG Gansler Secures $3.8 Million Settlement with Omnicare Inc.
Maryland to receive nearly $67,000 to resolve kickback scheme allegations
Baltimore, MD (March 6, 2014) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Maryland, joined by other states and the federal government, has secured a global settlement with Omnicare, Inc., a comprehensive provider of pharmacy and related services to long-term care and other specialized health care settings. The Maryland Medicaid program will receive $66,775.47, to be shared with the federal government, which provides a portion of Medicaid funding.
"We will not let kickback schemes by drug makers or their pharmacy reps subvert a doctor's professional judgment when it comes to patient care," said Attorney General Gansler. "We can reduce this type of larceny against the taxpayer by taking the profit out of illegal activities such as this."
The settlement resolves allegations that from Sept 1, 2003 through June 30, 2005, Omnicare, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Covington, Kentucky, solicited and received payments, rebates and other illegal compensation from Amgen, Inc., in exchange for Omnicare's selection and utilization of Amgen's nephrology drug Aranesp. The scheme included a so-called switching program, intended to identify patients who were taking competing drugs and switching them to Aranesp. The settlement resolves allegations that Omnicare knowingly caused false and/or fraudulent claims for Aranesp to be submitted to the state Medicaid programs.
In making the announcement Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Shelly Marie Martin and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Chief Auditor Ruth Jarrell for their work on this case. A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the settlement negotiations with Omnicare, Inc. on behalf of the settling states.
To see related news releases concerning the Aranesp kickback and pricing schemes, visit: