The state of Connecticut has sued the Florida-based compounding pharmacy Assured Rx, along with several current and retired Connecticut state employees, alleging that they participated in a kickback scheme involving drugs covered by a taxpayer-funded pharmacy benefit plan.
The state alleges in an action filed Tuesday that the compounding pharmacy conspired with the Connecticut state employees to file false claims with the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan, which provides prescription drug benefits to state employees and their family members.
In its petition, the state alleges Assured Rx violated the Connecticut False Claims Act by paying retired state employees kickbacks for their own compound drug prescriptions and those of other benefit plan members they recruited into the scheme. The state would not have approved of the prescriptions, the suit claims, had it known of the kickbacks being paid by Assured Rx. The alleged total cost of the scheme was $10.9 million.
The lawsuit was filed by the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General following an investigation into compound drug billing fraud in 2014, according to an office release. This is the second suit the office has filed as a result of that investigation.
“The fraud we are alleging in this lawsuit is simply egregious,” said Attorney General George Jepsen in a statement. “Our investigation has developed evidence that we believe clearly shows how a number of former and current state employees … defrauded the state employee pharmacy plan to the tune of millions of dollars in exchange for their receipt of kickbacks from Assured Rx for these extremely expensive compounded drugs.”
Jepson promised the office would “continue to aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who seek to defraud Connecticut’s taxpayers by filing false claims in our employee and public health care programs.”
Assured Rx did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.