The pharmacy and prescription drug management company CVS Caremark Corporation has agreed to pay 19.9 million dollars in settlements to Illinois, California, and Florida. Three separate qui tam lawsuits were filed against the company in the three different states and alleged violations of each state’s False Claims Act, which prohibit making false or fraudulent statements to the state officials in order to obtain government funds. The settlement covers all three lawsuits. Under the terms of the settlement, CVS Caremark with pay almost $7 million to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, $4 million to the state of Illinois, and $3 million to the state of Florida.
CVS Caremark was accused of defrauding the states’ prescription drug plans by reselling returned drugs, changing prescription orders to make them more expensive, and submitting false reports about the timing of filling prescriptions in order to avoid paying fees to the state.
The qui tam lawsuits were spearheaded by two former Caremark Florida pharmacists, Michael and Peppi Fowler, who informed the states about CVS Caremark’s alleged misconduct. State and local governments have suffered immensely as a result of the recession and have had to make drastic cuts to try to balance their budgets. The last thing these entities can afford is the loss of government funds due to fraud. Brave whistleblowers such as the Fowlers play an essential role in preventing fraud against state and local governments.
For more information on pharmaceutical fraud, fraud against state and local governments, and what you can do to stop this unlawful activity, please visit our website at http://www.fraudfighters.net/.