Pharmacy chain agrees to pay $1.8 million for improperly dispensing controlled drugs

By Amanda Klein | October 24, 2018

A local pharmacy chain has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle a case where it is alleged they dispensed controlled substances to patients without prescriptions.

Passavant Memorial Homes, together with its subsidiaries Passavant Development Corporation, PDC Pharmacy Pittsburgh, PDC Pharmacy Philadelphia, and PDC Pharmacy Colorado, have agreed to pay the money in full settlement of a False Claims Act.

Allegations in court papers said that Passavant dispensed controlled substances to patients who had a legitimate medical need, but they did not have a valid prescription,, they only a physician’s order for the drugs.

The pharmacies serve individuals with intellectual disabilities and other mental health needs through community residential programs, residential treatment facilities, intermediate care facilities, and other facilities.

Prosecutors alleged that in many of the cases the pharmacies billed federal healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, for dispensing controlled substances to the patients.

In 2015 Passavant voluntarily disclosed this information to authorities and cooperated with the investigation. The company has since implemented a policy change to stop the practice of prescribing with only a physician’s order, according to U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

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