Kmart pays $1.4M in false claims settlement

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday Hoffmann Estates, Ill.-based Kmart has paid $1.4 million to settle allegations it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly inducing Medicare beneficiaries to fill their prescriptions at Kmart pharmacies.

The government alleged Kmart was offering Medicare beneficiaries drug manufacturer coupons to reduce or eliminate co-pays they were required to pay. This also caused Medicare beneficiaries to choose expensive, non-generic drugs, which the government alleges had no medical benefit, but increased costs.

It was also alleged that Kmart further encouraged Medicare beneficiaries to fill prescriptions at its pharmacies by offering discounts on gasoline based on the number of prescriptions filled at a Kmart pharmacy.

The lawsuit was filed by former Kmart pharmacist Joshua Leighr under the qui tam, or whistle-blower, provision of the False Claims Act. He will receive $245,500 of the settlement, according to the DOJ.


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