California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Officials Charge 17 in Prescription Drug Fraud Ring

Last week, federal authorities charged 17 individuals for allegedly submitting false prescription drug claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal that caused the government to pay several times for the same medications. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. According to the complaint, members of the drug fraud ring unlawfully obtained expensive antipsychotic medications -- such as Abilify, Seroquel and Zyprexa -- from San Gabriel Valley pharmacies and then funneled the drugs back to the pharmacies, which would repackage and dispense the drugs again. Authorities said more than $18 million in bills were sent to the federal government and that about $7.3 million was paid out.

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