U.S. Joins Suit Against PharMerica Alleging Medicare Claims Violations

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Justice has filed suit against PharMerica Corp. under the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act for filing claims with Medicare for invalid prescriptions for controlled substances and for dispensing controlled substances to residents at long-term care facilities without valid prescriptions. The suit mentions both oxycodone and fentanyl.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that in 2009, Jennifer Denk, a pharmacist in Waukesha, reported to “her bosses at PharMerica” that “potentially dangerous drugs were being issued under her license but without a doctor’s prescription.” Receiving no response, she went to the Drug Enforcement Administration with her concerns, and then “filed a federal whistle-blower suit that year that was only recently unsealed when the government decided to take over the case.” Under the suit, “PharMerica could face more than $100 million in damages.”

The AP reported the Federal government announced that it was joining the suit on Friday, “accusing PharMerica Corp. of illegally dispensing addictive narcotics without proper oversight.” The AP explains that the company “provides pharmacy services for long-term care facilities” and “almost half of its revenues came from Medicare Part D billings.”

Reuters reported the suit alleges the violations occurred thousands of times during the period 2007 to 2009. The story noted that the company filled 40 million prescriptions per year.

From the American Association for Justice news release.

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