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United States v. UCB, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

April 15, 2019, Decided; April 15, 2019, Filed

Case No. 17-CV-765-SMY-MAB

Opinion

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

YANDLE, District Judge:

Relator CIMZNHCA, LLC ("CIMZNHCA") filed this qui tam action under the False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. § § 3727 et seq., against Defendants UCB, Inc. ("UCB"), RXC Acquisition Company d/b/a RX Crossroads, Omnicare, Inc. and CVS Health Corporation (collectively referred to as "RXC"). Now pending before the Court is the Government's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 63). CIMZNHCA filed a Response (Doc. 66). The Court has considered the parties' written submissions [*3]  and conducted an evidentiary hearing on March 29, 2019.

Background

CIMZNHCA, LLC is a limited liability holding company of Venari Partners, LLC d/b/a National Health Care Analysis Group ("NHCA Group"). NHCA Group is the relator in eleven qui tam actions filed nationwide, asserting violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b) (the "AKS") by various pharmaceutical defendants.1 In the instant case, CIMZNHCA claims that since 2011, UCB and RXC, through the implementation of two different schemes, have provided remuneration in the form of free nursing and reimbursement support services to prescribing providers to induce them to recommend UCB's drug, Cimzia, to patients. CIMZNHCA alleges that as a result of these schemes, pharmacies have submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid that are tainted by kickbacks, causing these programs to pay tens of millions of dollars in improper reimbursements. CIMZNHCA further alleges that the schemes undermine the independent decision making of providers; providers do not prescribe Cimzia because they believe the drug will help their patients, but because UCB and RXC actively and improperly pursue and entice them.

The Government has declined to intervene and now moves to dismiss the case under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A) on the bases the allegations lack merit and continued prosecution of this case will be costly and contrary to governmental prerogatives. CIMZNHCA argues that the Government's decision to dismiss is arbitrary and capricious and unrelated to any rational governmental interest.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64267 *; 2019 WL 1598109

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., ex rel. CIMZNHCA, LLC, Plaintiff, vs. UCB, INC., RXC ACQUISITION COMPANY d/b/a RX CROSSROADS, OMNICARE, INC., and CVS HEALTH CORPORATION, Defendants.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by United States ex rel. CIMZNHCA, LLC v. UCB, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96160 (S.D. Ill., June 7, 2019)

Prior History: United States ex rel. CIMZNHCA, LLC v. UCB, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169179 (S.D. Ill., Mar. 28, 2019)

CORE TERMS

allegations, government's decision, cases, qui tam, disapprove