The Department of Justice announced that pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc. (Pfizer) will pay $23.85 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to patients. The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer used a foundation as a conduit to pay the copays of Medicare patients for three Pfizer drugs: Sutent, Inlyta, and Tikosyn. Under the FCA’s Anti-Kickback Statute, pharmaceutical companies are barred from paying Medicare patients’ copays in order to persuade the patient to use their drug.
The Department of Justice announced that marine services contractor Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) will pay $20 million to settle claims that they knowingly overbilled the U.S. Navy for ship husbanding services. The whistleblowers, three former employees for ISS, filed the lawsuit alleging that ISS was engaging in an overbilling scheme using tactics that included submitting false and inflated invoices from vendors to the Navy and double billing for goods and services provided.
It was announced by the Department of Justice that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Sam’s West, Inc. (d/b/a Sam’s Club) will pay $825,000 to resolve claims that they violated the False Claims Act and Minnesota False Claims Act for submitting claims for automatic refills. Minnesota is one of over 20 states that does not allow pharmacies to auto-refill prescriptions paid for by the state’s Medicaid program without an explicit request from the beneficiary. The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club continued to violate the False Claims Act by enrolling Medicaid beneficiaries in their auto-refill program and billing Medicaid, even after pharmacy employees reported the violation to company managers.
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