Curant is a pharmacy that, among other pharmacy services, prepares and sells compounded drugs that are paid for by federal healthcare programs, including TRICARE and Medicare. A compounded drug is a specially formulated medication, prepared by a licensed pharmacist and personalized for a specific patient. Due to this specialized work, reimbursement rates for compounded drugs were high, particularly during the time in question. Because of the high reimbursement rates, recent years have seen a proliferation of alleged fraud within the drug compounding industry.
Pope McGlamry filed the case in September 2019, on behalf of Relator Mr. Long, a licensed pharmacist and former employee of Curant. In his complaint, Mr. Long alleged that Curant violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing TRICARE and Medicare for compounded drugs. Specifically, Mr. Long alleged that Curant: (1) provided kickbacks to patients in the form of routine waivers of the patients’ required co-payments and free shipping on all compounded drugs; (2) improperly charged TRICARE and Medicare prices that exceeded the compounded drugs’ usual and customary prices; and (3) improperly billed TRICARE and Medicare for medically unnecessary compounded drugs. Relator’s allegations are allegations only and the settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by Curant.
Mr. Long initially reached out to family friend and prominent plaintiffs’ attorney Adam Malone, who brought in Pope McGlamry’s experienced qui tam attorneys to work on Mr. Long’s case. We thank Mr. Long for bravely coming forward with these allegations and for trusting Pope McGlamry and Malone Law with his case. We were honored to represent him.
We also thank and congratulate Assistant United States Attorney Anthony DeCinque and the entire investigative team at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia for their excellent work on the case.
Under the False Claims Act, private citizens may file lawsuits on behalf of the government and receive a share of the government’s recovery. The False Claims Act also affords protection to whistleblowers from retaliation. Pope McGlamry is proud to bring False Claims Act cases like this one and to represent its clients who courageously blow the whistle on fraud being committed against the government.
A copy of the United States’ press release can be found here.
Relator’s lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Dennis Long, v. Curant Health Georgia, LLC, Patrick J. Dunham, Marc R. O’Connor, Scott A. Zepp, Pankajkumar D. Patel, Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-3954-AT (N.D. Ga.).