© Reuters. U.S. accuses CVS of defrauding Medicare over prescriptions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – CVS Health Corp (NYSE:) and its Omnicare unit were sued on Tuesday by the U.S. government, which accused them of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of drugs without valid prescriptions.

The U.S. Department of Justice joined two whistleblower lawsuits accusing Omnicare of failing to obtain new prescriptions from doctors after old ones expired or ran out of refills.

Instead, the government said Omnicare simply assigned new numbers to old prescriptions, enabling it to dispense drugs for months or years after the prescriptions expired, and submitted false claims to the government healthcare programs for payment on what it called “rollover” prescriptions.

The alleged wrongdoing occurred from 2010 to 2018, according to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.

CVS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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