Nursing Home Pharmacy Settles $9.25 Million For Big Pharma Kickbacks

flickr nursing home elderlyPhoto by Ted Van Pelt
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A nursing home pharmacy in Kentucky prescribed drugs to it’s nursing home patients based on receiving kickbacks from a big pharmaceutical company. PharmMerica is one of the biggest nursing home pharmacies in the country, so you can imagine the impact this would have. Apparently (allegedly) they were recommending that Doctors prescribe an anticonvulsant Depakote. In exchange, Abbott pharmaceutical gave them kickbacks, which they termed “grants” and “rebates.”

According to Pharmacy Times.

PharMerica, the nation’s second-largest nursing home pharmacy, allegedly recommended that physicians prescribe the anticonvulsant Depakote in exchange for kickbacks from Abbott, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We owe nothing less in fulfilling our duty to ensure that nursing home residents are provided with the appropriate drugs based upon their needs rather than the business interests of the companies providing the drugs,” stated US Attorney Anthony P. Giorno in a press release.

Literally nothing good comes out of this story except maybe that they have to pay a large lawsuit. But even that’s a bit of a scam as the Government takes $6.5 million and leaves only $2.5 for medicaid program claims by states who elect to participate in the suit. So really this is more of a “fine” as opposed to a lawsuit.

What’s worse? This isn’t Abbott’s first Depakote offense. They’ve paid out $1.5 billion in the past. So how on earth does this keep happening and why aren’t these pharmaceutical executives in jail? They were taking advantage of elderly people with dementia, yet they just pay a fine and walk free. You can read the full story here.

Photo by Ted Van Pelt

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