Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Joins Lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for Paying Kickbacks to Nation's Largest Nursing Home Pharmacy
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control moved today to join a pending lawsuit in federal district court in Boston against drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) of New Brunswick, N.J., and two of its subsidiaries, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc. The lawsuit, made public in January by the U.S. Department of Justice, alleges that these companies paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., the nation's largest pharmacy that specializes in dispensing drugs to nursing home patients. In November 2009, the United States, numerous states, including Kentucky, and Omnicare entered into a $98 million settlement agreement that, among other things, resolved Omnicare's civil liability under the False Claims Act for taking kickbacks from J & J.
In its complaint against J & J the United States alleges that the company paid kickbacks to Omnicare to induce the nursing home pharmacy company to purchase and recommend J & J drugs, including the atypical anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, for use in nursing homes. Attorney General Conway intends to make similar allegations in the Commonwealth's complaint, which will be filed shortly after the court approves Kentucky's request to intervene.
"The allegations set out by the Department of Justice are disturbing, and I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to come into the Commonwealth and interfere with the health and safety of Kentucky seniors," said General Conway. "The complaint, released by the Justice Department, describes a kickback scheme that distorted the judgments of doctors and put the bottom line ahead of patient need."
Since Attorney General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded more than $100 million dollars for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers who have overbilled the Medicaid program.