Johnson & Johnson Charged Over Drug Kickbacks

Firm paid pharmacy tens of millions to push its drugs: feds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 12:25 PM CST
Johnson & Johnson Charged Over Drug Kickbacks
In this Oct. 10, 2008 file photo, Johnson & Johnson products are shown in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

(Newser) – Federal prosecutors filed a complaint today against Johnson & Johnson, charging that it paid “tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks” to a major national pharmacy serving nursing homes. In exchange, the government alleges, that pharmacy, Omnicare Inc., would boost the sales of J&J’s drugs, including the antipsychotic Risperdal.

Omnicare has already ponied up $89 million to settle a complaint against it in the same scheme, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company was in a strong position to push Johnson & Johnson’s products, because its pharmacists reviewed nursing home patients’ medical charts and recommended drugs. Doctors followed their recommendations 80% of the time. (Read more Johnson & Johnson stories.)

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