We often hear about healthcare fraud and how it is a growing problem in the United States. One type of fraud we are seeing a rapid increase, especially with the overwhelming opioid problem we are seeing in our country, is fraud associated with pharmacies. This type of fraud happens quite often and has a damaging impact on the healthcare industry and the nation as a whole.
Every year, the retail value of prescription medications filled in the United States exceeds over $300 billion. A large percentage of these prescriptions are paid for by government-sponsored health insurance plans. In many cases, Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Federal Employee Health Benefits Programs cover the costs of these prescriptions for patients. The size and scope of the industry make it much easier for pharmacies to engage in fraudulent actions.
Types of Pharmacy Fraud We See in the United States
Pharmacy fraud comes in many shapes and sizes. Some of the most common schemes we see involving pharmacy fraud include:
- Substituting a more expensive medication for a cheaper one while charging for the higher cost.
- Billing for nonexistent and fall prescriptions.
- Billing several payers for the same medication.
- Billing for brand name medications while providing generics to patients.
- Filling less than the number of pills prescribed for patients.
False claims for medications cost the United States millions of dollars each year. Not only does healthcare fraud jeopardize the quality of care patients receive, but it has a negative impact on the amount of funds available to continue helping patients now and in the future.
Those who are convicted of pharmacy fraud can face extensive prison sentences, a loss of professional licenses, and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Regrettably, there are numerous instances where people are falsely convicted of pharmacy fraud. Those accused can reach out to a reputable attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
Exceptional Legal Defense for your Time of Need
It is no secret that the United States is currently dealing with the major opioid crisis. There are countless medical professionals who take advantage of the fact that narcotics and opioids are in high demand. As a result, we see endless arrests made for doctors who are accused of over-prescribing these controlled substances. Unfortunately, there are many innocent medical providers caught in the crossfire. If you are accused of distribution or other drug-related charges while practicing medicine, it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Our team at Healthcare Fraud Group understands the importance of proving your innocence after these horrific allegations. A conviction for falsifying medical records, conspiracy to distribute, and distribution of controlled dangerous substances can result in a prison sentence of up to 20-years and over $1 million in fines. These charges are extremely serious and can have a devastating impact on a medical professional’s life, career, and more. If you were accused of any of these crimes, or similar forms of healthcare fraud, contact our pharmaceutical crimes defense attorneys at (888) 402-4054 to discuss your case as soon as possible.