Frohsin Barger Walthall & Bucy (FBWB) is pleased to announced that FBWB clients’ allegations against Long-Term Care Pharmacy, Tara Pharmacy SE, LLC, (Tara Pharmacy) have settled for $622,000. The allegations–brought by former employees of Tara Pharmacy–claimed that Tara Pharmacy violated the Controlled Substances Act by dispensing Schedule II controlled drugs without a valid prescription and violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare for improperly dispensed drugs.
Tara Pharmacy is a specialty pharmacy based in Homewood, Alabama that provides pharmacy services for long-term care facilities located in Alabama and Georgia. FBWB’s clients realized that Tara Pharmacy filled prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances that lacked a valid physician signature and that Tara Pharmacy failed to get written prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances. After recognizing these practices were dangerous and fraudulent, FBWB’s clients brought a qui tam action as whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act authorize private parties with knowledge of fraud against the Government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. FBWB’s clients will receive $52,000 as their share of the recovery.
Commenting on the settlement United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Prim F. Escalona stated: “Pharmacies that violate federal prescribing guidelines put their patients’ health at risk and contribute to the drug epidemic plaguing our communities. Since 2020, drug overdose deaths in Alabama have increased by more than 71%. Law enforcement and public health agencies are committed to combatting any unlawful sources that distribute controlled substances into our communities.”
Special Agent in Charge Tamala E. Miles of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General commented: “Pharmacies that distribute controlled substances without legitimate prescriptions seriously endanger the well-being of their patients. In billing Medicare for inappropriately dispensed drugs, those pharmacies also divert federal funds needed to care for the program’s many beneficiaries.”
Frohsin Barger Walthall & Bucy would like to thank and congratulate our co-counsel Collette Mattzie and John Tremblay of Phillips & Cohen, LLP as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Don Long and Margaret Marshall of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama for their efforts to return these funds to taxpayers. Further, Frohsin Barger Walthall & Bucy would like to thank and congratulate our brave whistleblower clients who came forward to expose Tara Pharmacy’s dangerous fraud.
The Department of Justice Press Release can be read here.
If you have questions about the False Claims Act or Pharmacy Fraud, please contact Frohsin Barger Walthall & Bucy.