Florida Pharmacy Enters Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Pays $1.31 Million To Settle False Claims Act Case
On July 13th, 2022, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced deferred prosecution agreement in the False Claims Act case involving Solera Specialty Pharmacy—a pharmacy with a main location in Pompano Beach, Florida. According to the DOJ, Solera Specialty Pharmacy improperly billed Medicare for a high-priced prescription drug called Evzio.
As part of the settlement agreement, Solera Specialty Pharmacy will pay $1.31 million. Notably, the case was initiated by a whistleblower who worked for a supplier of the pharmacy. The whistleblower will receive 20 percent of the total recovery. Here, our Florida Medicare billing fraud lawyer explains the key things to know about the False Claims Act settlement.
False Claims Act Settlement: Solera Specialty Pharmacy Fraudulently Billed Medicare
Evzio is a prescription drug used to treat opioid overdoses. It is a high-priced alternative to naloxone. As a general matter, prior authorization is required before Evzio can be prescribed and billed for. The allegations raised by the DOJ state that Solera Specialty Pharmacy was improperly prescribing and billing Medicare for the expensive prescription drug Evzio.
Indeed, the DOJ alleges that Solera Specialty Pharmacy provided paperwork with false clinical information when prescribing Evzio. In some cases, the Florida based pharmacy even waived copay requirements for Medicare beneficiaries while prescribing this drug without a proper assessment of their financial need as required by federal law.
Notably, Solera Specialty Pharmacy and its CEO Nicholas Saraniti entered criminal and civil agreements with the Department of Justice. As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, the company and the CEO will be given “amnesty” regarding any potential criminal liability as long as they fulfill the requirements of the agreement, including paying $1.31 million to the government.
Whistleblower Rights: Former Employee of Evzio Manufacturer Filed the Claim
Medicare billing fraud is notoriously complex. In many cases, it is difficult for outside parties, including federal regulators, to get a handle on exactly what is happening without guidance from someone with inside knowledge. In this case, the False Claims Act lawsuit was initiated through a qui tam claim filed by a whistleblower.
The whistleblower, Rebecca Socol, is a former employee of a company called kaléo Inc. Kaléo Inc. is a pharmaceutical manufacturer with a main headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Socol recognized the fraudulent billing practices by Solera Specialty Pharmacy and filed the qui tam claim. As part of the settlement agreement, she will receive $262,000 in whistleblower compensation.
Get Help From a False Claims Act Attorney in South Florida
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our whistleblower rights attorneys have extensive experience handling False Claims Act cases. If you are considering disclosing healthcare billing fraud and filing a qui tam lawsuit, we are here to protect your rights and help you secure the maximum available financial award. Contact us right away for a free, fully private initial appointment with an attorney. We provide statewide and nationwide legal representation in False Claims Act cases.