U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Philip Sellinger announced Aug. 3 that a Fort Lee pharmacy admitted its role in a conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription opioids while giving kickbacks to health care providers.
Dunn Meadow LLC (doing business as Dunn Meadow Pharmacy) pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally distributing fentanyl nationwide while often filling prescriptions early or for illegitimate reasons. It also signed a civil settlement with the United States for violating the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act.
According to court documents, court statements and terms of the civil settlement:
“From 2015 through 2019, Dunn Meadow dispensed prescription TIRF medications and other controlled substances knowing that the prescriptions were not written for a legitimate medical purpose. Dunn Meadow knowingly filled prescriptions for controlled substances, including TIRF medications, for patients exhibiting suspicious and drug-seeking behavior, including patients that repeatedly requested early refills, paid thousands of dollars in cash for their prescriptions, or requested that prescriptions be sent to suspicious or inappropriate locations, including hotels, casinos and elementary schools.”
Court documents say that that the behavior continued despite warnings from third parties, including suppliers.
“Dunn Meadow also admitted that it conspired to offer kickbacks to health care providers and pharmaceutical company sales representatives in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, in the form of lunches, dinners, and happy hours to induce them to send TIRF prescriptions to Dunn Meadow,” according to court documents.
Dunn Meadow admitted that the violations of that statute caused a more than $4.5 million loss to federally funded health care programs.
Over the next five years, the pharmacy has agreed to pay up to $50 million to resolve its civil liability.