In a sign that the federal government is continuing to target compounding pharmacies, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida recently announced that a licensed pharmacist from the Tampa area pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud. That pharmacist, who co-owned Lifecare Pharmacy in Pinellas County, agreed to pay a physician illegal kickbacks for prescriptions of compounded medications. A full press release by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida can be found here.
To effectuate this scheme, the pharmacist utilized a marketing firm to employ sales representatives to market compounded pain creams, targeting individuals on the Department of Defense’s TRICARE healthcare plan. The pharmacist paid the physician approximately 10% of the after-cost amount of each claim paid by TRICARE for each compounded medication written and filled. Not only that, the pharmacist and the pharmacy also bought gifts for the physician, such as a $71,900 BMW. As a result of this scheme, the pharmacy received approximately $5.3 million from TRICARE for compounded medications as a result from the illegal kickback relations. According to the government, this arrangement violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and various other healthcare laws.
This indictment is the latest in a string of high profile arrests targeting individuals related to compounding pharmacies. As former federal prosecutors, the attorneys at Stumphauzer & Sloman have experience handling these types of cases. If you would like to speak with our attorneys please call 305-371-9686.