The Post and Courier reported the settlement involving South Carolina and PharMerica to settle allegations of health care fraud. The federal government contends it illegally promoted the use of Aranesp, a drug used to treat anemia that is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Amgen. PharMerica has agreed to pay the federal government $2.5 million. PharMerica is a pharmacy that serves hundreds of nursing homes across the country.
All told, the federal government will recover more than $31 million from PharMerica, Amgen and another pharmacy related to this alleged scheme.
“Public health insurance programs shouldn’t foot the bill for drug company schemes that manipulate doctors and patients to maximize profits,” U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a prepared statement about the settlement. “This case is an excellent example of how the government can work together with private whistleblowers to recover money for taxpayers.”
In a separate October settlement, PharMerica agreed to pay the government $9.25 million to settle allegations that it solicited and received kickbacks from another drug manufacturer in exchange for promoting a drug that was approved for bipolar disorder and epilepsy.