Johnson & Johnson accused of paying kickbacks


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Bernard Lisitza, Chicago pharmacist, initiated the case after allegedly being fired for challenging the kickbacks and other inappropriate activities by Johnson & Johnson. The suit was filed under Virginia’s False Claims Act and is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.

The U.S. Department of Justice joined Lisitza’s case last January after filing a complaint that Johnson & Johnson was paying tens of millions of dollars for Omnicare, Inc., the nation’s largest pharmacy for nursing homes, to push the sales of Risperdal®. The Omnicare pharmacists were found to be “highly motivated based on economics,” which depended “less on net costs [to payers], and more on quality of product and ‘spread’ (their margin).” “This case highlights the Attorney General’s commitment to protecting Virginia patients and taxpayers from corporate payoffs designed to illegally influence health care,” said Michael I. Behn, Lisitza’s attorney.

Omnicare was caught up in a qui tam case in 2006 with Lisitza that recovered $50 million for Virginia, the U.S., and 42 other states in recoveries for fraud. And again last November, Omnicare paid the government nearly $100 million to settle allegations from Lisitza and other whistleblowers claiming the pharmacy committed Medicaid fraud through kickbacks including the Johnson & Johnson Risperdal® scheme.





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