Jacksonville pharmacies settle Medicare fraud lawsuit for $7.4 million

A pair of Jacksonville pharmacies and their owner agreed to pay at least $7.4 million to settle lawsuits accusing them of defrauding Medicare by adding anti-psychosis medication to topical pain cream and wrongly waiving patient copays.

Smart Pharmacy Inc., SP2 LLC. and owner Gregory Balotin were accused by federal authorities of adding the anti-psychosis medicine aripiprazole, sold as Abilify, to topical pain creams to get more money in reimbursement from the government.

Aripiprazole can be used to treat schizophrenia and Tourette’s disorder.

Medicare Part D and TRICARE, which serves U.S. military personnel and their dependents, repay pharmacies for individual ingredients in compounded medicines. As such, the purported addition of aripiprazole to the creams would have allowed the pharmacies to get more money back from the federal government.

The pharmacies were also alleged to have routinely waived patient copays regardless of whether or not the patient qualified for such a waiver to induce people to buy the altered pain cream.

Source: Jacksonville pharmacies settle Medicare fraud lawsuit for $7.4 million / The Washington Times

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