CVS Health Corp’s Omnicare unit has agreed to pay $23 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that it took kickbacks from a drugmaker to promote two antidepressants, according to settlement papers released on Friday.
The accord, confirmed by the US Attorney’s Office in Boston, will resolve a lawsuit against the pharmacy operator filed in 2007 by two former employees of drugmaker Organon USA Inc on behalf of the federal government and various states.
CVS in a statement said the alleged conduct at issue took place before it acquired Omnicare in 2015. Omnicare neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
The lawsuit claimed that from 1999 to 2005, Omnicare and certain pharmacies it acquired sought and received kickbacks from Organon in the form of discounts in exchange for promoting the antidepressants Remeron and Remeron SolTabs.
The lawsuit said that as a result, Omnicare violated the False Claims Act by submitting kickback-tainted claims to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, for reimbursement.
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