The Justice Department announced that long-term care corporation PharMerica has settled with the United States for $31.5 million in a lawsuit claiming that they dispensed controlled drugs without a valid prescription and violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare. According to justice.gov:
“Pharmacies put patients at risk when they dispense Schedule II narcotics, which have the highest potential for abuse of any prescription drug, without a valid prescription from a physician,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to the fight against the misuse of controlled substances.”
PharMerica is a long-term care pharmacy that dispenses medications to residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Many of the prescriptions filled by PharMerica are for controlled substances listed in Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, can cause significant harm if used improperly and have a high potential for abuse.
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