Kroger, Omnicare reach $300K agreement

Keith Loria Dec. 8, 2010, 3:00pm


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced on Wednesday that he has reached a $300,000 settlement with a Kentucky-based company that allegedly accepted millions of dollars in kickbacks

Omnicare Inc., a leading provider of pharmaceutical care for seniors, already reached a $75 million settlement with the federal government for similar charges in 2009. The company allegedly took kickbacks from drug maker Johnson & Johnson to induce the prescription of Risperdal.

That antipsychotic medication has been linked to serious adverse effects in geriatric patients, it is alleged.

"Cracking down on health care fraud is a crucial part of bringing down the cost of providing medical coverage," Keith Dubanevich, chief of staff and special counsel to Kroger, said.

"This agreement goes a step further by enacting reforms that combat serious conflicts of interest."

Under the settlement agreement with Oregon, the company's consultants will be banned from promoting on behalf of drug companies.

Omnicare also agreed to set strict limitations on its management of therapeutic drug interchange programs. These traditionally find cheaper therapeutically equivalent drugs for the drugs originally prescribed for the patient.

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