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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Settlement with Omnicare, Inc.

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin, as part of a national settlement against Omnicare, Inc., has resolved allegations that Omnicare violated federal and state law, including the Federal False Claims Act, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and Wisconsin’s False Claims Act, regarding the prescription drug Aranesp. 


Wisconsin, along with the federal government and several other states, alleged that for a period from 2003 to 2005 Omnicare solicited and received remuneration from Amgen, Inc. in the form of purported discounts, purported market-share rebates, grants, honoraria, speaker fees, consulting services, dinners, travel or fees for the purchase of data.  This remuneration was solicited and received in exchange for influencing health care providers’ selection and utilization of Aranesp within long-term care settings, and for implementing “therapeutic interchange” programs (also known as “switching” programs) intended to identify patients who were taking a competitor drug and to switch those patients to Aranesp.  Aranesp has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients with anemia due to chronic kidney disease or chemotherapy.  The state alleges that as a result, Omnicare knowingly caused false or fraudulent claims to be submitted to its Medicaid program.


Wisconsin Medicaid’s share of the recovery pursuant to this national, multi-state settlement is $38,968.13.  Medicaid – an insurance program for the needy and disabled – is jointly funded by the state and federal governments.  The settlement requires Omnicare to pay approximately $3.8 million for Medicaid to the federal and state governments.