A lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson by a whistleblower and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging the company paid kickbacks to influence sales of its drugs will continue, says Federal Judge Richard Stearns. The company is alleged to have paid its kickbacks to Omnicare Inc. the largest U.S, pharmacy for nursing home patients, to influence it to sell J & J’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Whistleblowers Bernard Lisitza and David Kammerer sued under the False Claims Act. Lisitza is a former Omnicare pharmacist. The U.S. sued J & J last year, claiming they paid millions to induce Omnicare to buy recommended J & J drugs. Omnicare, based in Kentucky, paid $98 million in 2009 to settle civil claims by the U.S. and several states. J & J is arguing that it is common commercial practice to give customers high rebates based on the share of a manufacturer;s product used. The judge disagreed.
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