Garbe v. Kmart Corp.

Garbe, an experienced pharmacist, began working at Kmart pharmacy in Ohio in 2007. When Garbe picked up a personal prescription at a competitor pharmacy, he discovered the competitor pharmacy had charged his Medicare Part D insurer far less than Kmart ordinarily charged it for the same prescription. He inspected Kmart’s pharmacy reimbursement claims and discovered that Kmart routinely charged customers with insurance—whether public or private—higher prices than customers who paid out of pocket, even ignoring “discount programs sales. Garbe shared his discovery with the government and filed a qui tam suit in 2008. The government has not intervened. Garbe asserts that Kmart’s “usual and customary” prices should be based on the prices Kmart charged the majority of its cash customers. The district court granted Garbe partial summary judgment. On interlocutory appeal, the Seventh Circuit, reversed in part, holding that Medicare Part D Pharmacy Benefit Managers and Plan Sponsors are not “officers or employees of the United States” for purposes of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729(a). The court agreed that Garbe has satisfied the materiality requirement under the Act for his Medicare Part D claims; and that Kmart’s “discount” prices were offered to the “general public.” View "Garbe v. Kmart Corp." on Justia Law