On Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, the Department of Justice announced that Omnicare Inc. had reached an agreement with the DOJ, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey and 28 states for an $8 million settlement for a False Claims Act Suit regarding unorthodox codes submitted for prescription drugs. Omnicare Inc. was accused of substituting the standard National Drug Code (NDG) with the less-specific “MEDID” code during the automated Stage II pharmacist verification process at certain pharmacy locations. The U.S. government alleged that Omnicare Inc. had deliberately adopted this practice for both convenience and additional business profit. The result, according to the government, was that the Omnicare submissions for generic drugs did not reflect the drugs actually dispensed to the patients, and the incorrect labels on the drugs interfered with Omnicare’s potential to track and recall them if necessary. More than $2 million will be allocated to the realtors of the case as their share of the settlement and to resolve their employment based claims under the False Claims Act.
The Whistleblower Team blog shares the latest in False Claims Act attorney and Qui Tam attorney news.
On July 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted a whistleblower protection resolution recognizing the valuable contribution Whistleblowers have made to our society and economy and designating July 30, 2016 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The resolution was introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley and cosponsored by Senator Ron Wyden and the other members of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, namely, Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Tom Carper of Delaware, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Barbara Boxer of California, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Gary Peters of Michigan and John Boozman of Arkansas.
The Senate’s Resolution (click here) reviews the early history of the government’s strong support for whistleblowers. It notes the first reported whistleblower matter in 1778 and highlights whistleblower protection legislation enacted by the Founding Fathers.
Anyone who has ever faced the dilemma of speaking out against “waste, fraud and abuse” or keeping silent and chose to say something can take heart knowing that the country appreciates their having done so and is showing its appreciation by designating July 30, 2016 National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.