Pharmacy giant Omnicare recently agreed to pay a $98 million settlement in connection with allegations it engaged in an illegal kickback scheme with drug maker Ivax. The same day, officials filed an additional complaint against Omnicare and nursing home giants Mariner and SavaSenior Care in relation to other alleged kickback schemes.
Omnicare, the nation's largest provider of nursing home pharmacy services, solicited and accepted $8 million from Ivax in exchange for ordering $50 million worth of drugs from it. Omnicare also allegedly received kickbacks from drug maker Johnson & Johnson in exchange for recommending that doctors prescribe J&J's antipsychotic drug Risperdal to nursing home residents.
The most recent complaint claims that Omnicare, Mariner, SavaSenior Care and their representatives conspired to have Omnicare pay $50 million in kickbacks to funnel nursing home chain business to the pharmacy provider.
I believe that caregivers and families evaluating nursing home care need to look at issues such as this, which while alleged, imply a lack of moral and ethical integrity. That could reflect itself in how facilities are managed and ultimately the care a loved one receive.