It seems that some companies never learn when it comes to false claims against the United States government. Omnicare is in the business of providing prescription drugs to elderly patients, and, has a particular pedigree in supplying nursing homes. Omnicare operates in at least 16 states, and, has 2 locations in New Jersey.
In 2010 Omnicare paid nearly $100 million to settle a whistleblower and kickback lawsuit. According to a recently filed lawsuit in The Federal Court, Omnicare has developed a new way to overcharge the United States and individual state governments.
A whistleblower, Peter Ordeanu, alleges that while working for the company or its predecessors, he learned that Omnicare regularly inflated the amount of money billed for dispensing drugs. The fraud involved Omnicare changing the National Drug Code number (“NDC” number) on the drug dispensed to the patient. By changing the NDC number the actual name or type of the drug dispensed was masked. The whistleblower claims that by changing the label, the US and state governments were overcharged by millions of dollars.
According to the complaint, in one egregious example, the oral liquid compound Vancomycin was priced at more than $1000 by changing the label. The compound requires 2 separate vials, and each vial costs approximately $2.00. When the whistleblower reported that the labels did not “match” the compound ingredients, he was told that it was “company policy”. After mentioning other discrepancies in the billing systems, the whistleblower was terminated.
The activity alleged in this particular fraud is similar to a practice that was prosecuted a number of years ago against pharmacy benefit managers.
Omnicare supplies nursing homes and individual patients throughout the country. It is not known exactly how many individuals or facilities Omnicare may service in the state of New Jersey.
If you are aware of mislabeling, changing the quantity or contents of products that are sold to or paid for by the United States government or in an individual state, you should contact a qualified whistleblower attorney.