Omnicare will pay $50 million over controlled substances charges

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PharMerica agrees with FTC lawsuit blocking Omnicare takeover
PharMerica agrees with FTC lawsuit blocking Omnicare takeover

Long-term care pharmacy provider Omnicare has agreed to pay the government $50 million to settle charges that it illegally dispensed controlled medications to long-term care residents.

According to Justice Department documents, Omnicare pharmacists allegedly dispensed controlled substances from prescriptions that lacked a physician's signature on a regular basis. Pharmacists also dispensed substances without other required information such as name of the drug, dosage, strength quantity or a Drug Enforcement Agency number, the documents state, as well as documenting partially filled prescriptions.

This $50 million settlement, which was announced last Friday, is the second-largest civil settlement in the history of the Controlled Substances Act, news outlets reported.

Omnicare said in a statement there is no evidence that controlled substances were unlawfully diverted from the intended resident. "While DEA regulations specifically address retail and hospital pharmacy operations, long-term pharmacies have historically operated in a less defined middle ground, dispensing controlled substances on instructions from long-term care facility staff after the staff's consultation with the ordering authorized prescriber," the company said.

Omnicare recently announced the launch of an app for controlled substances.