The U.S. Department of Justice joined litigation on Tuesday against CVS Health Corp and its Omnicare unit accusing them of fraudulently billing Medicare and other programs for invalid prescriptions.
CVS allegedly illegally dispensed drugs to tens of thousands of older and disabled people in long-term care facilities by assigning new numbers to prescriptions after the originals expired. This allowed the company to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare, which serves the military, for hundreds of thousands of drugs from 2010 to 2018. CVS internally called these fraudulent prescriptions "rollover" prescriptions.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement:
"A pharmacy's fundamental obligation is to ensure that drugs are dispensed only under the supervision of treating doctors who monitor patients' drug therapies. Omnicare put at risk the health of tens of thousands of elderly and disabled individuals living in assisted living and other residential long-term care facilities."
Drugs illegally administered included anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.