In its largest civil monetary penalty kickback settlement to date, HHS' inspector general announced today that Tampa, Fla.-based long-term-care and institutional pharmacy, PharMerica, will pay nearly $6 million to settle June 2004 civil allegations. PharMerica, a wholly owned subsidiary of Valley Forge, Pa.-based drug and medical-supply company AmerisourceBergen Corp., allegedly purposefully overpaid for a small Virginia pharmacy in 1997 in exchange for an agreement to refer the seller's Medicare and Medicaid business for the next seven years. PharMerica will pay $5.97 million and enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement. "This settlement demonstrates the office of the inspector general's continued commitment to the use of all tools at our disposal to eliminate practices undermining the integrity of federal healthcare programs," said Acting Inspector General Daniel Levinson in a news release. PharMerica settled without admitting wrongdoing. In a news release the company said the inspector general sought $21.8 million in damages and a 10-year exclusion from federal health programs. "The settlement allows PharMerica to put this matter from the past behind us," said PharMerica President William Shields. -- by Mark Taylor
HHS settles largest civil monetary penalty kickback case with PharMerica
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