Raiser & Kenniff, PC, has experience helping pharmacists accused of diverting drugs all over the country. New York pharmacists accused of unlawful diversion of prescription drugs are vulnerable to a whole array of federal charges. Even if you somehow avoid prosecution, you could lose your DEA license and/or ability to participate in medicaid and medicare in the future. Most recently, federal authorities are cracking down on all forms of drug diversion. In some cases, pharmacists may be targeted due to their role in dispensing drugs – even though they are not complicit in the drug diversion. For example, if a physician is excessively prescribing certain drugs and sending patrons to your pharmacy – the federal authorities may suspect you are a participant in the scheme.
Federal authorities are becoming more and more savvy, as a result of electronic prescription methodologies now in place, that enable them to track drug prescriptions much easily. Most recently, pharmacy owners who participate in a drug diversion scheme by buying prescription pills second hand – in order to resell them – are being targeted. There’s obvious financial motives for this, since the pharmacist is able to save money -but he/she may be setting himself up for criminal prosecution – as a participant/conspirator in a medicaid fraud scheme.
Typically, federal authorities will conduct an investigation to see where the second hand drugs came from. Often, they are obtained from medicaid and private insurance beneficiaries, who use such insurance methods to pay for them. Many of these prescriptions are legitimate – but the beneficiaries commit fraud by reselling the medications instead of using them. Usually, the federal authorities will try to find the beneficiaries who are continuing to sell the drugs through the various distribution channels. Typically, the drugs are bought by pharmacists who continue to sell the drugs alongside legitimately bought drugs to customers. The customers are unaware they are buying drugs not legitimately obtained.
Pharmacists who engage in such behavior are violating many laws, by purchasing and selling second hand drugs. In addition, they are committing fraud against medicaid/insurance fraud when they seek reimbursement for the sale of these second hand drugs. Because they are usually discounted, the pharmacist will end up making a huge profit from the fraudulent billing. Participation in such cases can result in huge penalties. The penalties typically increase in severity depending on the length and extent of the crime – as well the monetary benefits gained. You could face both prison time and financial restitutions – in addition to losing your license. You could also be banned from medicaid and medicare.
If you’re a New York / NJ / NYC pharmacy owner, we encourage you to contact us to in order to get help with your investigation. Never speak to the DEA or authorities on your own. Do not attempt to work out things on your own. They are only interested in convicting you – not helping you. Our experienced NYC drug diversion attorneys can help you with all aspects of your case – going from the criminal and federal case against you – to license defense and more.