$36.7 million is flowing into public treasuries across the country and into one whistleblower’s pocket as a result of actions by the Chicago office of the U.S. Attorney.
Coordinating with the 49-state National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, CVS Caremark Corp. has agreed to the multi-million 2000 through 2006 ettlement initiated by a whistle blower suit.
No liability was admitted, however.
The gist of the suit was that tablets of Zantac were substituted for capsules.
Here’s the earl;y 2001 cost differential: Illinois Medicaid was charged $79.80 instead of $17.10 per 60 tablet prescription for a difference of $62.70.
“Switching medication from tablets to capsules might seem harmless, but when that is done solely to increase profit and in violation of federal and state regulations that are designed to protect patients, pharmacies must know that they are subjecting themselves to the possibility of triple damages, civil penalties and attorney fees,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said.
Illinois state government gets $241,110. The Feds get $21 million.
Whistleblower Bernard Lisitza will receive $4,309,330.74—almost 12% of the settlement–as his share of the federal and state settlements. Pharmacist Lisitza also initiated a similar, unrelated lawsuit, settled in November 2006, against Omnicare, Inc. of Covington, Kentucky.
Assistant United States attorney Linda A. Wawzenski handled the case for Fitzgerald.
You can read the whole press release here.