Overview

Omnicare, Inc., which calls itself, "the nation's leading provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly," paid $49.5 million in November 2006 to settle Medicaid fraud charges that it illegally switched the drugs of senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities.

The case was brought by pharmacist-whistleblower Bernie Lisitza who had been fired by Omnicare after reporting improper practices. Qui tam attorneys, Michael I. Behn and Linda Wyetzner of Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered, in Chicago, represent Lisitza.

The charges primarily involved generic forms of the popular drugs Zantac® and Prozac®.

In November 2009 Omnicare paid $98 million to settle charges that the pharmacy committed Medicaid fraud through several kickback schemes, including Lisitza's allegation that pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson paid Omnicare to increase sales of Risperdal® anti-psychotic. (District of Massachusetts, No. 07-10026-RGS). The payments allegedly induced Omnicare pharmacies to switch patients from other anti-psychotic medications to Risperdal®.

Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered represent Lisitza who also was a pharmacist whistleblower in the case.