Government whistleblower lawsuit: PharMerica improperly dispensed, billed for narcotics

Share this article:
Former nursing home worker confesses to murdering resident in 2007
Former nursing home worker confesses to murdering resident in 2007

Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica dispensed controlled narcotics without valid prescriptions and billed Medicare for the drugs, the federal government has charged in a False Claims Act lawsuit.

The government suit stems from a 2009 whistleblower complaint filed by Jennifer Denk, a former PharMerica employee. The company routinely filled nursing homes' orders for oxycodone and other Schedule II narcotics, even if there was not a proper prescription written by a doctor, Denk alleged. PharMerica also billed Medicare for these drugs, according to the suit.

“The complaint that we are filing today reflects the abiding commitment of the Justice Department to the qui tam process, encouraging people with information about alleged fraud and abuse to report it in a timely and effective manner,” James L. Santelle, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, said Friday.

PharMerica “disputes the premises of the lawsuit” and will “vigorously defend itself,” the company stated yesterday.

Whistleblowers in these types of cases stand to receive a portion of monetary damages recovered by the government.

In June, PharMerica share prices slid on news that it had lost a major contract for skilled nursing pharmacy services with Kindred Healthcare. PharMerica retains its position as a major player in the sector, but has also faced increasing competition from relative newcomer AlixaRx.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.