Two Little Known Ways Some Pharmacies Take Advantage of You

The pharmaceutical industry is regularly found to be engaging in fraud of many types, but here are two schemes most people are not aware of.

Compounded drug fraud

Compounding pharmacies prepare medications tailored to meet the needs of individual patients by mixing drugs or changing the route of administration. Compounding pharmacies can violate the False Claims Act by making large batches of drugs—known as mass-compounding—rather than providing the required individualized service, “compounding” drugs that are already commercially available, or inflating the amount of particular medications used in the mixture to increase the cost. Compounded drugs are primarily regulated by the states, meaning efficacy and safety need not be proven to the FDA.

Illegal drug-switching

As a general rule, pharmacies must fill patients’ prescriptions as they are written by the ordering physician. Putting aside situations where a generic drug may be substituted for a name-brand drug, pharmacists may not simply substitute one drug for another, or dispense a liquid form of a drug when a pill or tablet was prescribed. Billing government insurers for medications that have been so manipulated can be a violation of the False Claims Act.



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