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U.S. Intervenes in Qui Tam Suit Against PharMerica Corporation

The United States has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit brought in 2009 against PharMerica Corporation, a pharmacy that dispenses medications to patients in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin alleges that PharMerica violated the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act.

Jennifer Denk, a former PharMerica employee, initially filed a complaint under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act alleging that PharMerica dispensed controlled substances, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, without valid prescriptions. The government contends that PharMerica routinely dispensed Schedule II controlled drugs to nursing home patients without a prescription from a treating physician indicating that the mediation was medically necessary. According to the government, PharMerica knowingly caused the submission of false claims to Medicare for the medications that were dispensed without a prescription in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

If the government is successful in its claims against PharMerica, the whistleblower may be entitled to a percentage of any proceeds under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.