Discount department store chain KMART Corp., which operates approximately 780 in-store pharmacies throughout the US, agreed to pay $1.4 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by using drug manufacturer coupons and gasoline discounts as improper Medicare beneficiary inducements. According to the government, Kmart improperly influenced the decisions of Medicare beneficiaries to bring their prescriptions to Kmart pharmacies by permitting them to use drug manufacturer coupons to reduce or eliminate prescription co-pays that they otherwise would be obligated to pay, and by also offering them varying levels of discounts on the purchase of gasoline at participating gas stations. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Kmart pharmacist Joshua Leighr under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Leighr will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $248,500. DOJ
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