In a $38 million healthcare fraud scam involving personalized prescription medications, two New Jersey women who co-owned a pharmaceutical marketing company has admitted their roles.
The 42-year-old Wayne resident Samantha Zaretsky and the 43-year-old Fair Haven resident Lee Nichols pled guilty to conspiracy to conduct health care fraud in federal court through video conference.
Federal prosecutors said that over a two-year period, Zaretzky and Nichols, through their company Synergy Medical, took advantage of the system through which claims for “compounded medication” are handled.
After a physician concludes that an FDA-approved treatment will not adequately treat a patient’s condition, the pharmacist is permitted to compound the necessary medication.
The Food and Drug Administration gives examples of a patient having an allergy to a specific color or being unable to swallow a pill and hence needing medication in liquid form.
According to USPharmacist, some of the most widely prescribed medications are those used to treat pain and restore hormone levels.
According to their market analysis, Zaretzky and Nichols have discovered that there is a substantial profit to be made by developing and selling a variety of unique pharmaceuticals in the United States.
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Philip Sellinger, an attorney.
Salespeople and insurance holders willing to go through the hassle of filling pricey, unneeded prescriptions were recruited.
Prosecutors claim that from April 2014 to June 2016, the scheme targeted medical practitioners paid off to prescribe these individualized medications.
The compounding pharmacies that Zaretzky and Nichols patronized rewarded them with bribes.
Each lady faces up to ten years in prison and a punishment of $250,000 if convicted in April 2023, or twice the greater of the gross gain or loss from the scam.