The feds continue to crackdown on pharmacy owners who do not follow applicable regulations. In a recent case, prosecutors accused a pharmacy owner of falsely claiming to be a pharmacist. They state that he was not licensed as a pharmacist and did not have the proper permissions to dispense prescription medications. Yet, they claim he dispensed prescriptions for years including thousands of Oxycodone pills. The feds further claim that the pharmacy owner was able to continue this practice because he had an arrangement with a licensed pharmacist who would visit the pharmacy “sporadically.”
Allegations result in investigation, lead to criminal charges
The government states that these practices led to filing falsified paperwork with a number of agencies including government entities in New York, Medicare, and Medicaid. Various agencies worked together to gather evidence to build this case, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General as well as the New York City Police Department.
Based on evidence gathered by these agencies, the prosecution claims the pharmacy owner’s actions resulted in over $3 million in false claims and potential government losses.
These claims resulted in the government to file charges for a number of crimes including health care fraud conspiracy and distribution of Oxycodone.
Criminal charges lead to prison sentence
Based on these claims, a federal court in Brooklyn sentenced the pharmacy owner to 36 months imprisonment.
This case provides an example of the need for pharmacy owners to make sure their pharmacies are in full compliance with all applicable regulations. A failure to follow these regulations can lead to more than just a fine. As this case showcases, it can also lead to prison time.