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Va. seeks to join lawsuit over prescription drug

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 2:17pm
The Associated Press

Virginia wants to join a federal lawsuit claiming that health care giant Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks so nursing homes would put patients on its schizophrenia drug.

The Attorney General's Office filed court papers last week to intervene in the case filed in Massachusetts. Office spokesman Brian Gottstein refused to confirm the filing on Monday.

The filing was confirmed through an online database maintained by the federal courts.

Prosecutors claim the company paid kickbacks to nursing home prescription provider Omnicare Inc. so its pharmacists would recommended that patients with signs of Alzheimer's be put on the schizophrenia drug Risperdal, which was later found to increase the risk of death in the elderly.

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