Compounding pharmacies are receiving a lot of attention in Florida, and not all of it is good. In fact, you have likely read recent news headlines about criminal charges for those allegedly involved in fraudulent acts using prescriptions for compounded drugs. Because you work in the health care industry, you may even have concerns about how this relates to you.
Federal law enforcement agencies across the country have focused on individuals and groups taking advantage of the high reimbursement rate and low regulation of compounded drugs. The MediCare Fraud Strike Force is particularly involved in identifying and prosecuting fraudsters, especially those using compound pharmaceuticals as the source of their schemes. If you are currently under suspicion of committing fraud through prescriptions for compounded drugs, you have every right to be concerned.
Compound pharmaceuticals are an easy target
A physician, pharmacist or someone working under one of these licensed professionals may create a compound drug by mixing ingredients of drugs for patients who cannot otherwise use the drugs in their available forms. For example, a patient who cannot swallow pills may use a compounded cream or liquid. Whatever your role in the creating, prescribing or filling of prescriptions, you are certainly aware of the high cost and reimbursement value of such compounds.
Law enforcement may suspect you of participating in kickback schemes. These often involve a compounding pharmacy providing a doctor with fraudulent prescriptions, which the doctor fills in exchange for a portion of the reimbursement the pharmacy receives from Medicare. This kickback may be substantial since some compounded medicines garner reimbursements exceeding $15,000 per prescription.
Agents who suspect you of involvement in any branch of this scheme have likely been investigating you for some time. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute applies to anyone who knowingly pays a kickback, offers payment or receives kickback remuneration. This remuneration may include money or anything that has value.
An advocate for your defense
The key to culpability in a kickback charge is whether you knowingly participated in the scheme. You may have received a gift or accepted an invitation to dinner without realizing you were involved in fraud. Whatever your circumstances, the advice and counsel of an attorney will prove invaluable. Federal agents commit to bringing to justice those who perpetrate prescription fraud. You certainly want the best advantage for your defense.