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More pharmacists under the microscope for fraud

Working as a Texas pharmacist can be satisfying and rewarding. You provide medication for those who are ill or injured, and you offer important information about the safest and most effective ways to use the prescriptions doctors have ordered. Many people who come to you are dealing with chronic, debilitating pain.

Unfortunately, because of the growing abuse and misuse of the Medicare system, you and your colleagues in the pharmacy industry are under intense scrutiny. You are on the front lines, distributing medication to the public. Without careful attention to the laws and regulation that control these substances, you may find yourself facing criminal charges that could drastically change your life and place your career in jeopardy.

Have authorities accused you of fraud?

Prescription benefits abuse is one of the most common forms of fraud in the health care industry. You are probably well aware of the rising rate of arrests of those owners and employees of pharmacies accused of defrauding the Medicare system. Perhaps your pharmacy is under investigation or you are already facing accusations for any of the following fraudulent actions:

  • Refilling patient prescriptions without their knowledge, submitting a bill for the prescription to Medicare or another insurer and then reselling the prescriptions that the patients do not pick up
  • Offering patients incentives to transfer their prescriptions to your pharmacy or accepting money from a pharmaceutical company in exchange for selling patients the drugs manufactured by that company
  • Switching a patient's prescription to a more expensive form of a medication, for example from a tablet to a capsule, so you can collect more money through Medicare
  • Failing to negotiate for more reasonable drug prices if your responsibilities include pharmacy benefits management
  • Shorting prescriptions, for example putting only 28 pills in a 30-pill prescription, so you can sell, distribute or use a patient's medication for your own benefit
  • Working with physicians in prescribing expensive and unnecessary medication for which you and the doctors received kickbacks from the pharmaceutical company

These are just a few of the ways in which pharmacists have abused the system for their own gain, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars. As a result, convictions for such actions can result in years in prison and thousands in fines. Investigators will leave no stone unturned, and you would be wise to be as diligent about your defense strategy. Allegations of Medicare fraud are too serious to handle without quality legal representation.

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