Compound pharmacies provide vital healthcare services to the public. These specialized pharmacies cater to the individual patient and can create medications that overcome specific health challenges or illnesses in people of all ages.
As crucial as they are to the healthcare industry today, these pharmacies are not immune to misbehavior that can only be categorized as fraud or theft. The United States government regards compounding pharmacy fraud as a serious crime that could warrant the severest forms of civil and criminal punishment.
Compounding pharmacy fraud is considered a white-collar criminal offense and is a type of healthcare fraud that the federal government regards as a serious civil allegation and possible felony. The crime itself can entail a number of illegal activities. The ones that are most commonly prosecuted and punished include:
Compounding pharmacies that unwittingly or purposefully engage in any of these activities could be investigated, charged, and punished for compounding pharmacy fraud.
The penalties for compounding pharmacy fraud vary according to the severity and cost of the crime. For example, anyone convicted of defrauding or attempting to defraud a healthcare benefit program could face up to 10 years in prison, civil penalties, or both.
If the crime results in bodily injury to a patient, the convicted individual could be sentenced to no less than five and no more than 10 years in prison. If the crime results in death, the punishment could be life in prison.
Someone convicted of presenting a false or fraudulent claim or payment for approval or knowingly making, using, or causing false record or statement material to false or fraudulent claims, or conspiring to commit this violation faces a civil penalty of not less than $10,000. The person may also have to pay three times the monetary amount of damages sustained by the federal government.
A compounding pharmacy investigation can begin one of two ways. The first way involves the presenting of a subpoena to the pharmacy. The subpoena may not stipulate if the investigation is criminal or civil in nature. However, it may ask the owners or staff to relinquish documentation like:
The second way involves agents from the FTA, FBI, OIG, HHS, or DOJ demanding entry to the pharmacy to investigate the business and question staff. The agents may act in accordance to a search warrant or general inquiry. Pharmacy staff will be allowed to have an attorney present during the search and questioning.
Agents from investigative government offices will generally target any person or business associated with the compounding pharmacy during the investigation. These individuals include:
Likewise, agents will investigate vendors or companies that do business with the compounding pharmacy.
If you find yourself the subject of a compounding pharmacy investigation, it is critical that you hire an attorney who has experience defending clients in these types of cases. Brett Podolsky is well-versed in the laws regarding compounding pharmacy fraud and knows how to use them to advocate for you in and out of court.
The Law Office of Brett Podolsky can ensure that you are not wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit. If you are a business owner, he can also make sure your business’s reputation is not harmed because of its association with the pharmacy being investigated.
With a skilled compounding pharmacy attorney working for you, you might avoid harsh penalties like steep fines and prison sentences. Your attorney could negotiate a deal that will get any charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
Compounding pharmacy fraud is a serious crime that the federal government punishes with civil penalties and jail time. Rather than face this kind of investigation alone, you can protect your business, reputation, finances, and freedom by hiring a skilled compounding pharmacy attorney like Brett Podolsky to represent you today.
Call Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087 for a free initial consultation.