PharMerica charged with dispensing drugs without physician prescriptions claims whistleblower

The pharmaceutical services firm PharMerica illegally dispensed controlled substances by dispensing drugs to nursing homes and facilities without physician authorized prescriptions, according to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice and whistleblower pharmacist Jennifer Denk.

Ms. Denk revealed the wrongdoing after she observed prescriptions including those for addictive drugs like fentanyl and oxycodone were being filled with no doctor’s signature.

According to the complaint, PharMerica served 300,000 residents, filled 40 million prescriptions annully and generated 45 percent of its revenue from prescription drugs paid for by Medicare.

Denk said that her employer also asked her to falsify records and billed Medicare for prescri[tions that were double billed, returned or written for dead patients.

According to the government, PharMerica would improperly allow nursing home staff to order and pharmacists to dispense narcotics before confirming they were necessary for treatment.

Many unsigned doctors’ authorizations would ultimately be boxed and stored in an unmarked Pewaukee storeroom known as the “Harry Potter” room, the complaint said. The government did not explain how the room came to be named.