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$2.5 million settlement latest in $31.5 million whistleblower case

This week the United States Department of Justice announced a $2.5 million settlement with long-term care pharmacy Pharmerica that concludes a federal false claims case that has resulted in over $31.5 million being recovered by federal and state governments.

The December 2015 settlement with the pharmacy servicing hundreds of nursing homes across the nation, completes a litigation involving the illegal promotion of Aranesp, an anemia drug manufactured by Amgen, Inc.

In 2013, the United States and a number of states executed a $24.9 million settlement with Amgen in this case, captioned United States ex rel. Kurnik v. Amgen, C/A No. 3:11–cv–01464–JFA (D.S.C.). In 2014, Omnicare paid $4.19 million to settle the claims against it. The recent settlement brings the government’s recovery to just over $31.5 million.

The Kurnik litigation was brought under federal and state false claims act statutes that allow private citizens to bring suit on behalf of the government to recover money expended as a result of fraud or other wrongful conduct. The government intervened in the Amgen and Omnicare portions of the case and the Relator pursued the case against Pharmerica on behalf of the government.

Kurnik was represented by Dick Harpootlian and Chris Kenney of Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A. in Columbia, South Carolina and Reuben Guttman, Traci Buschner, Justin Brooks and Caroline M. Poplin, J.D., M.D. of Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Justice’s full release is available here.

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