J&J ac­cused of pay­ing kick­backs to phar­macy

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment has al­leged that John­son & John­son paid kick­backs worth tens of mil­lions of dol­lars to Om­ni­care from 1999 to 2004 to in­duce the long-term-care phar­macy to buy and rec­om­mend John­son & John­son’s drugs. The gov­ern­ment, join­ing a whistle­blower’s False Claims Act law­suit in U.S. District Court in Bos­ton, al­leges in a newly filed com­plaint that John­son & John­son came to view Om­ni­care’s ranks of more than 900 con­sul­tant phar­ma­cists as an ex­ten­sion of its own sales force. The drug­maker, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, paid re­bates to Om­ni­care based on phar­ma­cists’ suc­cess per­suad­ing nurs­ing home physi­cians to switch pa­tients to John­son & John­son drugs, pri­mar­ily the anti-psy­chotic drug Ris­perdal. “We are re­view­ing the com­plaint filed to­day and will ad­dress the gov­ern­ment’s law­suit in court,” John­son & John­son said in a writ­ten state­ment. “We be­lieve air­ing the facts will con­firm that our con­duct, in­clud­ing re­bat­ing pro­grams like those the gov­ern­ment now chal­lenges, was law­ful and ap­pro­pri­ate.” The re­bates ul­ti­mately were re­placed with an agree­ment to pur­chase pre­scrib­ing data, much of which Om­ni­care never pro­vided, the gov­ern­ment al­leged. In Novem­ber 2009, Om­ni­care, Cov­ing­ton, Ky., agreed to pay the gov­ern­ment $98 mil­lion to re­solve al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing deals with drug­mak­ers, in­clud­ing John­son & John­son.

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