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Whistleblower Reports Pharmacy Medicine Fraud
- Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:52
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 06:25
- Kevin Gill
- Hits: 1524
Barbara Thompson is a whistleblower in an unusual case. Misconduct of any form can lead to a qui tam lawsuit as evidenced by the recently unsealed documents in a case involving Baltimore based Woodhaven Pharmacy Services. The qui tam suit alleged that Woodhaven was “recycling” medicines administered to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Woodhaven does business as Remedi SeniorCare, Inc. They agreed to pay close to $1.3 million to settle the case that whistleblower Thompson filed.
Drugs that are not used in nursing homes are supposed to be legally disposed of. Woodhaven found a dangerous profit in repacking and administering the drugs that should have been thrown away safely,
According to Thompson, who took part in the illegal actions for six years, the medications were opened in environments that were not sterile, mixed and counted in unclean bins and then repackaged for use. She further alleged that this unsafe practice mixed drugs of varying potency, lot numbers and expiration dates.
The complaint went on to state that Woodhaven had "hired efficiency experts to help it figure out how to recycle the products faster." The company hired more employees, brought in extra machinery and transferred employees from other departments when needed.
The claim also alleged that “every day the Defendant typically picked up 20 or more tote bags of medicine from long term care facilities, ostensibly destined for disposal- but instead recycled” the medicine.
Former federal prosecutor and managing partner of the law firm that represented Thompson in the qui tam suit, Marcella Auerbach added, "We hope that this settlement shines a light on a business practice that we suspect is happening at long-term care pharmacies across the country."
The exact tally for the settlement is $1,279,575 that Woodhaven has agreed to pay. Under whistleblower laws Thompson is entitled to somewhere between 15% and 30% of the settlement although the exact whistleblower payout in this qui tam case has not been released.