Department of Justice

Forty-five states and the Department of Justice are claiming that generic-drug prices are fixed and the alleged collusion may have cost U.S. business and consumers more than $1 billion.

In their complaint, prosecutors say that when pharmacies asked drugmakers for their lowest price, the manufacturers would rig the bidding process.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will support local officials in hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation's drug abuse crisis.

Authorities say a Department of Homeland Security agent took bribes to help a Colombian cocaine trafficker avoid charges.

A Department of Justice news release says Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Christopher Ciccione was indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida on Monday on charges of conspiracy, corruption and obstruction of justice.

The federal government is giving cities some new guidance on how far they can go in regulating sober homes.

The Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development issued the joint statement Thursday.

It gives local governments some legal wiggle room to oversee group housing for recovering addicts on a case-by-case basis.

For example, many cities bar more than three unrelated people from living in a single-family home. But sober homes are often given an exemption to that rule because the occupants are considered to be disabled and are protected by federal law.

Under a plea deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, a Miami pharmacist has pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for his role in submitting more than $1.8 million in false claims to Medicare, according to a news release from the DOJ. Evelio Fernandez Penaranda, the owner of  Naranja Pharmacy Inc., admitted to submitting claims for Medicare beneficiaries and doctors without their consent.

Broward Health

A prominent Fort Lauderdale cardiologist under investigation for Medicaid and Medicare fraud signed a new contract with Broward Health featuring a pay cut and a new agreement to treat poor patients, the Florida Bulldog reports. 

The federal government has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against a company that provides doctors and other health professionals to work in hospitals in Florida and many other states. IPC The Hospitalist Group operates practice groups in Jacksonville, Ocala, Southwest Florida, Tampa, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Orlando.

A complaint filed with the U.S. Justice Department alleges that Broward County pre-kindergarten programs are “turning away children with diabetes,” the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has surveyed 75 Broward pre-K programs and asserts that only 16 percent made full accommodations for the children. 

University of Florida Health -- the parent organization for a cluster of hospitals formerly called  Shands Healthcare -- has agreed to pay $26 million to settle a whistleblower case under the False Claims Act, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The deaths of two jail inmates -- one in Miami-Dade, the other in Tampa -- have officials investigating how the system failed to protect them.  In the first, Joaquin Cairo was arrested on a misdemeanor and booked into the psychiatric ward of the Miami-Dade jail, where his cell-made allegedly threw him against the furniture, according to the Miami Herald; Cairo died a week later during surgery. U.S.