Amazon subsidiary PillPack has settled a lawsuit in New York by paying $5.6 million to the US government over charges of insulin overbilling.
The online pharmacy billed government healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid for more insulin pens than patients need and falsely under-reported the number of days insulin supplies were provided.
PillPack has also paid more than $175,000 to other states that were overcharged for insulin.
US attorney Damian Williams said: “Pharmacies are trusted to provide accurate information to Government healthcare programs and to prevent waste when dispensing medications to patients.”
He said: “PillPack abused this trust by dispensing insulin refills long before patients needed them and by falsely reporting the days of supply of insulin actually dispensed to prevent its claims for reimbursement from being denied.”
The company has admitted responsibility for certain actions, including the distribution of insulin pens that exceeded the enforced days-of-supply limits.
PillPack requested reimbursement for insulin pens, but it was required to disclose the amount dispensed as well as the days of supply.
The government said from April 2014 PillPack has been dispensing and billing for a whole carton and minimizing the number of days of supply reported to the government program in order to meet the limit.
The firm has dispensed premature refills to program beneficiaries, resulting in insulin pen refills being dispensed days or weeks before patients needed them.
The company was bought by Amazon in 2018, at a time when Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan were attempting to disrupt the US healthcare system.
While PillPack was not a part of that business, Amazon inherited its pharmacy licences in all 50 states, allowing it to enter the pharmacy delivery service market.
Source: Endpoints News