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U.S. Files Suit Against Johnson & Johnson For Paying Kickbacks to Nation's Largest Nursing Home Pharmacy
Date:1/15/2010

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The United States has filed a civil False Claims Act complaint against drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) of New Brunswick, N.J., and two of its subsidiaries, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., the Justice Department announced today.  The complaint alleges that these companies paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., the nation's largest pharmacy that specializes in dispensing drugs to nursing home patients.  In November 2009, the United States, numerous states, and Omnicare entered into a $98 million settlement agreement that, among other things, resolved Omnicare's civil liability under the False Claims Act for taking kickbacks from J&J.

In its complaint against J&J, the United States alleges that the company paid kickbacks to Omnicare to induce the nursing home pharmacy company to purchase and recommend J&J drugs, including the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, for use in nursing homes.  According to the complaint, J&J understood that Omnicare's pharmacists reviewed nursing home patients' charts at least monthly and made recommendations to physicians on what drugs should be prescribed for those patients.  The government further alleges that J&J knew that physicians accepted the Omnicare pharmacists' recommendations more than 80 percent of the time, and that J&J viewed such pharmacists as an "extension of [J&J's] sales force."

The United States alleges that, in order to induce Omnicare and its pharmacists to recommend J&J drugs, the company paid kickbacks
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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