Connecticut Joins $28.125M State-Federal Settlement with
Omnicare to Resolve Depakote False Claims Allegations
Omnicare, Inc. – an institutional pharmacy that provides pharmaceuticals and related pharmacy services to long-term care and chronic care facilities – has agreed to a $28.125 million settlement with the federal government and several states to resolve civil allegations that the company conspired with drug manufacturer Abbott Laboratories through a number of disguised kickback arrangements to increase overall utilization of the drug Depakote, Attorney General George Jepsen, Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane and Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said today.
Depakote is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for treatment of seizure disorders and mania associated with bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches.
The states and federal government alleged that, from January 2001 to December 2008, Omnicare knowingly solicited and received illegal payments from Abbott Laboratories through agreements that required Omnicare to engage in certain promotional programs, grants and other financial support. This alleged conduct caused payments to be made from state Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs in violation of state and federal laws, including the Connecticut False Claims Act.
The portion of the settlement attributable to the state and federal shares of Connecticut’s Medicaid program is $305,738.54, of which $150,625.12 represents the net state share. The state's net share of the settlement will be deposited into the state's General Fund.
"We are vigilant in working with our federal and state law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraudulent and abusive conduct, and we will continue to work to hold accountable those who seek to defraud and overcharge our taxpayers," said Attorney General Jepsen. "I thank the Chief State's Attorney and the Department of Social Services for their continued partnership in these matters."
Chief State's Attorney Kane expressed his appreciation to the Medicaid Fraud Unit in the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Social Services for their continued collaboration to protect the integrity of the Medicaid program. "With limited resources available to help those who are truly in need, it is critical that we get the most from each tax dollar," Kane said.
DSS Commissioner Bremby said, "This enforcement action and settlement is another indication of the constant need for strong fiscal oversight in our public health coverage programs. We are proud of the ongoing work done by DSS anti-fraud specialists with the Attorney General's Office, the Chief State's Attorney's Office and our other state and federal partners." DSS is the administering state agency for Medicaid.
In 2012, Connecticut received approximately $6 million through a $1.5 billion state-federal False Claims Act settlement with Abbott Laboratories. CVS Health Corporation acquired Omnicare in August 2015.
Today's action is part of a larger effort by the State of Connecticut's Interagency Fraud Task Force, which was created in July 2013 to wage a coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute healthcare fraud directed at state healthcare and human service programs. The task force includes a number of Connecticut agencies and works with federal counterparts in the U. S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations. For more information, please visit www.fightfraud.ct.gov.
Anyone with knowledge of suspected fraud or abuse in the public healthcare system is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department at 860-808-5040 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney at 860-258-5986 or by email at email@example.com; or the Department of Social Services fraud reporting hotline at 1-800-842-2155, online at www.ct.gov/dss/reportingfraud, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of the Attorney General:
Jaclyn M. Falkowski
Office of the Chief State's Attorney:
Department of Social Services:
Department of Social Services:
Facebook: Attorney General George Jepsen