Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tennessee doctor, Mississippi nurse sentenced for fraud


Houston Pharmacist, Wife Sentenced in $21M Workers’ Comp Fraud Case June 29, 2020


Texas Doc Pleads Not Guilty In $6.7M Prescription Scam


Arkansas inmates to judge: Reopen our suit

Arkansas inmates to judge: Reopen our suit: Several Arkansas death-row inmates asked a federal judge Friday to reopen their lawsuit challenging the use of midazolam as the first of three drugs used in lethal injections, arguing that a better drug may now be available.

Who's been charged in prescription fraud case? MOLLY BILINSKI & CLAIRE LOWE Staff Writers Jun 26, 2020


Co-defendant of former local coach pleads guilty in federal court By: Staff


Compounded drug market needs transparency, more regulatory certainty, says PewProviders, compounders, individual states and the FDA all have roles to play in stemming drug shortages during the pandemic.

19 hours ago - ... Equine Solutions After Finding Dirty Compounding Rooms, Potency Issues ... the letter notes that a batch of toltrazuril/pyrimethamine paste compounded for .

Friday, June 26, 2020

DEA searches 3 E. Kentucky pharmacies, charges city councilman after witness’ ruse BY JEREMY CHISENHALL JUNE 25, 2020 01:33 PM , UPDATED 10 HOURS 13 MINUTES AGO


Florida pharmacists rules face physician objections


Andover pharmacy reaches $11M settlement over alleged illegal prescriptions


Former Marines and sailor plead guilty to $65 million Tricare fraud case ALEX RIGGINS, THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE16 HOURS AGO


5 Defendants In "Cream Scheme" Case To Have Separate Sentencings In Winchester Monday, June 22, 2020


'Compound King' Gets 10 Years For $22M Health Care Fraud


Former Mississippi nurse receives 1½ years in prison for role in $7.2M pain cream fraud Lici Beveridge, Hattiesburg AmericanPublished 11:22 a.m. CT June 24, 2020


New Florida Legislation Expands Pharmacist Scope of Practice Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Kyle Adams and two other Defendants Plead Guilty in $65 Million Health Care Fraud; Additional Charges Brought Against Alleged Ringleaders


East Texas Doc Pleads Not Guilty In $6.7M Prescription Scam


Who's been charged in prescription fraud case? MOLLY BILINSKI & CLAIRE LOWE Staff Writers Jun 24, 2020

"An ongoing federal investigation into prescription drug fraud has led to 30 people so far from Atlantic County and nearby being charged since August 2017."  Read more

Accused admits to role in Tricare fraud

Accused admits to role in Tricare fraud: LITTLE ROCK -- Albert Glenn Hudson of Little Rock admitted Wednesday in federal court in 2015, he participated with an Alexander doctor and a former Baxter County basketball coach to defraud Tricare, the federal government's health insurance program, of more than $12 million.

Margate doctor, Linwood man among three more indicted in health benefits scheme 2:09 pm June 25, 2020 by Lynda Cohen


Doctor and Nurse Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud in Compounding Pharmacy Scheme

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Doctor and Nurse Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud in Compounding Pharmacy Scheme

Jackson, Miss. –   Dr. Thomas Edward Sturdavant, M.D., 56, of Cordova Tennessee, was sentenced Monday and Freda Cal Covington, RN, 55, of Hattiesburg, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett for their roles in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in Mississippi, and Special Agent in Charge Cyndy Bruce of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Criminal Investigative Service’s (“DCIS”) Southeast Field Office. 
Sturdavant was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a monetary judgment of $160,000, along with restitution in the amount of $1,628,409.  Covington was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Co-defendant Dr. Shahjahan Sultan was sentenced on June 16, 2020 to 48 months in prison for his involvement in the conspiracy.
Beginning around May 2014, Sultan entered into a contract with a pharmacy located in Jackson County, Mississippi.  Pursuant to the contract, Sultan agreed to prescribe individuals expensive compound medications in exchange for the pharmacy agreeing to pay Sultan 35% of the reimbursements it received for the prescriptions Sultan authorized.
In September 2014, Dr. Sultan offered to pay Dr. Sturdavant $900,000 to perform telemedicine services and prescribe more expensive compounded medications that had no medical effectiveness.  Dr. Sturdavant also signed more than fifty prescriptions for the compounded medications for individuals he did not examine.  As a nurse, Covington helped further the conspiracy by identifying individuals in places like Jones County, Mississippi who had insurance that covered the expensive compounded medications.  She conducted cursory physical examinations of patients at places like gas stations and public playgrounds and falsified patient assessments for patients she knew did not need the expensive compounded medications. 
Sturdivant pled guilty before Judge Starrett on November 21, 2019, and Covington pled guilty on October 15, 2019.
Fallon Page, another nurse, pled guilty on November 21, 2019, to mail fraud for her involvement with having the unnecessary compound medications shipped to patients by the pharmacy.  She will be sentenced by Judge Starrett on July 7, 2020.
The case was investigated by the FBI and DCIS.  Assistant Chief Dustin M. Davis and Trial Attorney Sara E. Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk of the Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case.

Health Care Fraud

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today continued to take action in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • In a new FDA Voices, titled FDA maintains the pace of meeting its goals on applications for medical products during the pandemic, FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., explains that one of the challenges facing the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic is how to ensure the timely reviews of medical product applications despite a surge in volume of work and practical constraints that may impact our ability to conduct on-site inspections. The FDA has maintained the same pace of meeting its goals on review of applications for medical products during the pandemic that it has maintained in recent years.
  • The FDA is partnering with the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) and the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC). CDRC is a forum for the exchange of clinical practice data to inform potential new uses of existing drugs for areas of high unmet medical need, advancing research in these areas. CDRC will focus on capturing relevant real-world clinical outcome data through the FDA-NCATS CURE ID platform. In a pilot project focused on COVID-19, CDRC will use data collected via the CURE ID platform to aggregate global clinician treatment experiences to identify existing drugs that demonstrate possible treatment approaches warranting further study.
  • A Consumer Update, titled Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned, explains that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at the FDA have learned valuable lessons that will help shape our work to create a more digital and transparent, as well as safer, food system for you and your family. In the coming weeks, the FDA will unveil the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, which lays out how we will use technology and modern approaches over the next decade to strengthen the ways we approach the safety of the nation’s food supply, every day and in times of crisis.
  • Testing updates:
  • To date, the FDA has authorized 145 tests under EUAs; these include 122 molecular tests, 22 antibody tests, and 1 antigen test.
Additional Resources:



Pricey Compounded Medication at Center of $50 Million Fraud in New Jersey


FDA Maintains the Pace of Meeting Its Goals on Applications for Medical Products During the Pandemic 

One of the challenges facing the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic is how to ensure the timely reviews of medical product applications despite a surge in volume of work and practical constraints that may impact our ability to conduct on-site inspections. The public counts on the FDA to review and, when appropriate, to approve or clear medical products that are so important to patients and health care providers.

I am pleased to announce today that the FDA has maintained the same pace of meeting its goals on review of applications for medical products during the pandemic that it has maintained in recent years. For instance, we are currently on target to meet our user fee goals for drugs this year by reviewing and taking timely action on at least 90% of brand, generic, and biosimilar drug applications even during the pandemic. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

AS CORONAVIRUS CASES SURGE in some states, the White House said it’s preparing for another wave in the fall. Meanwhile, Trump told supporters in Tulsa he asked officials to slow down testing because more infections were being discovered. CNN POLITICS

2nd wave of virus cases? Experts say we're still in the 1st


Good Manufacturing Practice Considerations for Responding to COVID-19 Infection in Employees in Drug and Biological Products Manufacturing Guidance for Industry


FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem

[6/19/2020] FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:
  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.
Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.
On June 17, 2020, FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market. Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.
FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.
FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.
To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:
  • Complete and submit the report online; or
  • Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.

Friday, June 19, 2020

18 recent legal actions involving pharmacists, drugmakers Maia Anderson - 20 hours ago


Gluckstadt Special Care Pharmacy and Compounding LLC, World Health Industries Inc., Opus Rx LLC, and Rx Pro Pharmacy and Compounding LLC,....


A southern New Jersey sales executive for a pharmaceutical company and his associates accused of masterminding a prescription drug scheme that authorities say caused more than $50 million in losses to health benefit programs and insurers pleaded guilty on Tuesday.


Doctor with Ocean Springs connection gets 4 years in health care fraud scheme Updated Jun 18, 12:23 PM; Posted Jun 18, 12:23 PM


Zephyrhills Man Charged In $54 Million Compound Pharmacy Scheme A Zephyrhills resident is among four Florida men accused of participating in a $54 million compound pharmacy drug scheme. By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff Verified Patch Staff Badge Jun 16, 2020 2:18 pm ET


Mississippi pain cream fraud: Doctor sentenced to 4 years, must repay $7.2 million Lici Beveridge, Mississippi Clarion LedgerPublished 11:11 a.m. CT June 16, 2020 | Updated 1:17 p.m. CT June 16, 2020


Mississippi pain cream scheme: New chapter, new indictments, $180 million gone


Mitchell “Chad” Barrett, 54, of Gulf Breeze, Florida; David “Jason” Rutland, 41, of Bolton, Mississippi; and Thomas “Tommy” Shoemaker, 56, of Rayville, Louisiana were charged May 27 but federal authorities, with the indictment unsealed on June 12, 2020

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, June 12, 2020

Three Charged in $180 Million Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

An indictment against three individuals for their alleged involvement in various schemes to defraud Medicare, TRICARE, and private insurance companies, and their conspiracy to launder the proceeds has been unsealed today.  The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings.  
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi, Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI’s Jackson Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Cyndy Bruce of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southeast Field Office made the announcement.
Mitchell “Chad” Barrett, 54, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, David “Jason” Rutland, 41, of Bolton, Mississippi, and Thomas “Tommy” Shoemaker, 56, of Rayville, Louisiana were charged on May 27, 2020, in the Southern District of Mississippi. 
The indictment alleges that between September 2011 and January 2016, Barrett, Rutland, and Shoemaker conspired to and engaged in a scheme to defraud numerous health care benefit programs of more than $180 million, including more than $50 million from federal healthcare programs.  Using several pharmacies, including Gluckstadt Special Care Pharmacy and Compounding LLC, World Health Industries Inc., Opus Rx LLC, and Rx Pro Pharmacy and Compounding LLC, the defendants, as alleged, fraudulently formulated, dispensed, shipped, and billed insurance companies for compound medications in the form of topical creams and capsules, some of which contained controlled substances.
To further facilitate their scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, the defendants allegedly conspired to and engaged in a scheme to solicit and pay kickbacks and bribes to marketers, physicians, other medical providers, and beneficiaries to refer, prescribe, and receive prescriptions for medically unnecessary compound medications. The defendants also allegedly conspired to and engaged in a scheme to launder the proceeds of their fraudulent activity by concealing the proceeds they obtained and conducting monetary transactions of a value greater than $10,000, including the purchase of numerous assets, such as real estate, luxury automobiles, a three-carat diamond, and other high-priced goods. 
The charges announced today target alleged schemes billing Medicare, TRICARE (a health insurance program for members and veterans of the armed forces and their families) and private insurance companies for medically unnecessary compounded medications.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, DCIS, and IRS-CI.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Inspector General also assisted with the case.  Trial Attorneys Emily Cohen, Amanda Wick, and Steven Brantley of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn Van Buskirk of the Southern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case with the support and assistance of Trial Attorney Dustin Davis of the Fraud Section.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Health Care Fraud
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7 days ago - According to the U.S. government, the pharmacies submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement to federal healthcare programs for compounded prescription ...