TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Legal News, Legal Jobs Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced that Florida will recover $2.2 million as part of a 43-state $49.5 million settlement with OmniCare, Inc. The agreement resolves allegations that the company was unlawfully switching patients’ prescriptions in order to increase profits at the expense of the Medicaid program.
A national investigation, led in part by Crist’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, revealed that OmniCare was allegedly switching patients’
prescriptions to avoid federal price ceilings. Price ceilings limit the maximum amount of reimbursement that the government would pay for the most commonly prescribed forms of certain medications. OmniCare allegedly switched its patients to medications that did not have a reimbursement limit in order to circumvent the government-mandated price ceiling.
“Medicaid exists to help the needy receive proper health care,” said Crist. “If everyone plays by the rules, both patients and taxpayers benefit.”
The agreement deals specifically with allegations that patients taking Ranitidine, a popular antacid, were unlawfully switched from tablets to capsules, patients taking Prozac capsules were unlawfully switched to the generic Fluoxetine tablet and patients taking Buspirone tablets, a popular medication to treat anxiety, were switched to Buspirone tablets of a different dosage. The investigation revealed no medically justifiable reason for the switches other than to inflate government reimbursement and increase OmniCare’s profits.
As part of the settlement, OmniCare has entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General. The agreement will ensure future Medicaid compliance.
Crist’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit assisted the prosecution of the case, along with the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and other state attorneys general.
A copy of the multi-state settlement with OmniCare is available at: