Philadelphia pharmacy allegedly submitted $1M in false claims

A Philadelphia-based pharmacy allegedly billed Medicare more than $1 million for prescriptions that were never filled or dispensed to patients, the U.S. Justice Department announced Sept. 23.

The U.S. filed a civil lawsuit against G&A Somerton Pharmacy, the pharmacy's owner Polina Khodak and the pharmacist-in-charge Inessa Lerner. The lawsuit alleges the defendants violated the False Claims Act.

The illegal billing reportedly took place between 2009 and 2015 and included medications such as Lidoderm, Nexium and Novolog.

The Justice Department said in its news release that the U.S. has also entered into an agreement to settle the lawsuit without litigation. The settlement, if approved by the court, would require the defendants to pay nearly $1.3 million and prohibit the pharmacy from receiving payments from any federally funded healthcare insurer for 10 years.

The settlement would also require Ms. Lerner to enter into an integrity agreement, which would require her to "undertake substantial compliance obligations," according to the news release.

The Justice Department added that the complaint contains only allegations and there has not been a determination of liability.

Read the full news release here.

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