Government Alleges PharMerica Billed Medicare for Controlled Substances That Were Dispensed Without a Valid Prescription
The United States Government has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against PharMerica Corp. That alleges the company caused flase claims to be submitted to Medicare. If the government wins the lawsuit, the whistleblower will be entitled to a reward of between 15% and 25% of the amount the government recovers.
The complaint alleges that PharMerica violated the Controlled Substances Act by dispensing narcotics without valid prescriptions. The complaint also alleges that PharMerica violated the False Claims Act by causing claims for illegally dispensed drugs to be submitted to the Medicare program.
PharMerica is a pharmacy that dispenses drugs to residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and other long-term care facilities. The company fills approximately 40 million prescriptions every year. Many of the prescriptions are for controlled substances listed in Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, such as oxycodone and fentanyl.
Pharmacies are prohibited from dispensing oxycodone, fentanyl, and other Schedule II narcotics without a valid prescription from a physician.
According to the complaint, PharMerica allowed nursing home staff to order narcotics, and allowed pharmacists to dispense narcotics without confirming that a physician had issues a valid prescription based on medical necessity.
The lawsuit was started by a former PharMerica employee named Jennifer Denk. Ms. Denk filed a whistleblower complaint against PharMerica “under seal” (in secret) and presented her evidence to the government, also in secret. After conducting an investigation, the government decided to join the lawsuit. Only then was the case “unsealed” and made public.
This is the standard procedure for filing a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. In return for helping the government stop Medicare fraud, the whistleblower is entitled to protection from retaliation and a monetary reward of between 15% and 25% of the amount the government recovers.
If you are aware of false claims submitted to Medicare or Medicaid, then you should consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and legal protections as a whistleblower.
To arrange a free and completely confidential consultation, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728, or click here to reach our law offices via email.
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