Pharmacy manager convicted in $54M bribery scheme

An owner and senior sales manager of a Florida pharmacy was convicted June 16 in a bribery and kickback scheme amounting to $54 million. 

David Copeland, 55,  of Tallahassee, Fla., and his accomplices paid physicians who treat military families on Tricare for prescriptions of expensive compounded drugs to increase reimbursement. The bribes included "lavish hunting trips and expensive dinners," according to a Justice Department news release. 

Through the compounding pharmacy, Florida Pharmacy Solutions, Mr. Copeland modified prescriptions to make them more lucrative with "blanket letters of authorization," the release said. From 2012 through 2015, Florida Pharmacy Solutions billed Tricare more than $54 million for these products, including compounded pain and scar creams. 

He was convicted of two counts of soliciting and receiving illegal healthcare kickbacks and three counts of offering and paying illegal healthcare kickbacks. He faces up to 10 years for each kickback count. 

The two others involved in the case — James Moss, the pharmacy's former CEO, and Michael Gordon, a former sales representative — pleaded guilty and are also awaiting sentencing, the release said.

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