The Wall Street Journal has reported that Federal prosecutors are investigating widespread fraud, in at least four states, by compounding pharmacies in claims submitted to TRICARE–the health-insurance program that insures over 9 million U.S. military members (active, guard/reserve and retired) and their families. Some of the allegations include: false billings, physicians writing prescriptions despite not meeting the beneficiaries in person, and improper kickbacks being received in exchange for referring business to a government agency.
The major increase in spending on compounded drugs is believed to be the primary reason behind a $1.3 billion deficiency in the military’s health-care budget earlier this year. As a result, funds had to be redirected from other programs to compensate for the shortage and Prosecutors are considering and pursuing civil and criminal charges against the pharmacies, physicians and drug marketers.
This action by Federal prosecutors is yet another example of the increased enforcement by federal authorities against the pharmaceutical industry seen in the last six months.
Robert S. Iwrey, Esq., a founding partner of The Health Law Partners, P.C., practices in all areas of healthcare law and devotes a substantial portion of his practice assisting clients in pharmacy legal matters including compliance, third party payor audits, government investigations, state licensing and DEA registrations. For more information regarding this article, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.