JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - According to the U.S. attorney’s office, six local compounding pharmacies were ripping off a military health care program called Tricare by allegedly marketing expensive compounds to military families and paying kickbacks.
“Normally we would expect to see about $100 million a year all throughout the country in compounded pain prescriptions and what we saw was more than $1.5 billion,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Mehta.
Mehta estimates that $250 million of that alleged fraud happened in the middle district of Florida, which extends from Fort Myers to Jacksonville.
One of the compounding pharmacies involved is MedMatch. it settled for more than $4.7 million.
Action News Jax reached out to Med Match at their Southside office, but were turned away.
Attorney Randy Reep represents another one of the local businesses that settled, North Beaches Pharmacy. He says his client did nothing wrong.
"They settled for $10,000 and a portion of future profits over a short period of time. I think that's a wise business decision. It isn't a culpability decision,” Reep said.
By searching a state database, Action News Jax discovered at least two of the pharmacies are connected.
“Not only did the pharmacies catch wind of this and they started doing it, but the doctors also caught wind of it,” Mehta said.
It wasn’t just doctors who were involved.
“In some cases -- a few isolated cases, the actual patients themselves, the actual military personnel, they were in on it too,” Mehta said.
So far, the federal government has collected $40 million in settlements.
Here's a list of the six pharmacies that settled:
- MedMatch Pharmacy
- OHM Pharmacy-based in Auburndale, FL.
- WELL Health Pharmacy
- Topical Specialists
- Durbin Pharmacy
- North Beaches