Defendant violated False Claims Act by using bulk products in compound drugs
Bracker & Marcus LLC is pleased to announce that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia has reached an intervened “ability-to-pay” settlement with defendant Lake Country Pharmacy & Compounding Center and its owners in the amount of $365,000 plus interest. Lake Country will also be subject to a Corporate Integrity Agreement to ensure that it operates on the straight and narrow moving forward. Our client (who wishes to avoid media coverage) will receive a 20% relator’s share of the Government’s recovery.
In his qui tam complaint, our client alleged that Lake Country, an independent pharmacy in Greensboro, Georgia, was improperly billing Medicare, TRICARE, and Medicaid for compounded drugs made with expensive tablets, when in fact the drugs were made using cheap bulk powders that were not eligible for reimbursement. When he learned that this was improper while watching a seminar on ethical practices in compound pharmacies, he immediately reported his concerns to the owners, which resulted in him being fired and asked to leave the premises. (Our client’s claim of retaliation under the False Claims Act has also been settled.) In short order, he found our co-counsel, prominent Athens-area employment lawyer John Beasley, and together we filed a qui tam lawsuit. The United States found over $2.2 million in potential damages.
In addition to being an upstanding citizen, our client is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. We are proud to have represented him in this action and congratulate him on having come forward and reported this matter to the Government. He knew from the start that this was not likely to be a large recovery, but his only concern was righting a wrong and protecting patients, and his integrity compelled him to be a whistleblower.
We also congratulate Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Swanson and investigator Shakethia Morgan for a successful investigation and settlement.