Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest provider of pharmacy services to nursing homes, solicited tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories, the U.S. Justice Department claims.

In a complaint filed in Abingdon, Va. Federal Court, the government asserts Omnicare received the kickbacks over a 10-year period for recommending Abbott’s Depakota prescription drug to nursing homes hoping to reduce agitation and outbursts among their elderly dementia patients.

The False Claims Act lawsuit Omnicare’s pharmacists reviewed nursing home patients’ charts on a regular basis during the years in question, and made recommendations to physicians on the drugs that should be prescribed to their patients.

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