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US justice dept hauls J&J to court for paying kickbacks news
16 January 2010

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a suit against the world's largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), for paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare Inc for buying and recommending its drugs.

The DOJ said that the New Jersey-based J&J paid kickbacks, starting from 1999 through 2004, to Omnicare to induce the nursing home pharmacy company to purchase and recommend J&J drugs, including the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, for use in nursing homes.

Covington, Kentucky-based Omnicare, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading provider of long-term care facilities and other chronic care for the elderly in approximately 1.4 million beds in 47 states, the US and Canada mainly under the Medicaid scheme.

With 2008 revenue of $6.3 billion, Omnicare is the owner of the largest US professional pharmacy and provider of  related consulting and data management services for skilled nursing, assisted living and other institutional healthcare.

Medicaid is a US health insurance programme that provides care to certain low-income individuals and families who fit into an eligibility group and cannot pay for their own medical expenses.

Medicaid covers hospital stays, doctor visits, emergency room visits, prenatal care, prescription drugs, and other treatments. Medicaid is jointly funded by both the federal government and each individual state.

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US justice dept hauls J&J to court for paying kickbacks