Florida pharmacy, owners to pay $775K to settle false claims allegations

Vital Life Institute, a compounding pharmacy in Sarasota, Fla., and its owners will pay $775,000 to resolve allegations that they engaged in an illegal kickback scheme in violation of the False Claims Act.

The owners, Jenny and William Wilkins, were accused of paying kickbacks to a third-party marketing company to solicit compounded drug prescriptions for TRICARE and Medicare beneficiaries. The marketing company allegedly found clinicians to prescribe and sign those prescriptions, which were then sent to Vital Life Institute to be filled.

"These prescriptions were ordered to increase profits, not improve the healthcare of patients. Healthcare providers who satiate their greed at the expense of the American taxpayer will not be tolerated," said Shimon Richmond, the special agent in charge for the Office of Inspector General of HHS. "This settlement demonstrates the resolve of OIG and our law enforcement partners to root out fraud, waste, and abuse in our healthcare system."

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