The federal government is joining a legal fight against CVS Health that accuses its troubled Omnicare business of routinely filling prescriptions that had expired or run out of refills.
The Department of Justice said in federal court papers filed Tuesday that Omnicare's pharmacies sent drugs to people living in residential facilities based on "stale, invalid prescriptions." It accused the company of fraudulently billing government-funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare for drugs dispensed without a valid prescription from 2010 to 2018.
The DOJ said the practice put the safety of thousands of patients at risk because people kept taking the same drugs for months — or in some cases, years — without talking to a doctor.
CVS Health spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the claims have no merit and the company plans to "vigorously defend the matter in court."
Omnicare distributes drugs to skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities across the country. In 2016 it agreed to pay more than $28 million to resolve allegations that it accepted kickbacks for pushing an anti-seizure medication on doctors treating nursing home patients.
Boeing 737 woes hit parts makers
As Boeing prepares to shutter much of a huge factory near Seattle that builds the grounded 737 Max jet, the economic hit is reverberating across the United States
About 900 companies worldwidesupply parts for the troubled plane, which analysts say is the largest manufactured product exported from the U.S.
Boeing does not currently plan to lay off any of the 12,000 workers at its factory in Renton, Washington. But smaller parts companies like the 13,500-employee Spirit AeroSystems might not have that luxury. They could be forced to cut employees, and some might even get pushed out of business.
The Max was grounded worldwide in March after the second of two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people. On Monday, the aerospace company announced that it would halt Max production in January with no date for it to resume.