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Charleston pharmacy charged in Medicare scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The owner of Trivillian’s Pharmacy, and the pharmacy itself, were charged Tuesday by federal prosecutors with billing Medicare for drugs that were never dispensed.

Paula Butterfield was charged by information with making a false statement relating to a health-care matter. An information is similar to an indictment but usually signals that a defendant has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Trivillian’s Pharmacy, in Kanawha City, also was charged by information with two counts of health-care fraud and misbranding drugs.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office announced Tuesday that Butterfield and Trivillian’s have agreed to pay $1.1 million as part of a civil settlement on behalf of Medicare and West Virginia Medicaid. The settlement represents more than three times the loss suffered by Medicare and Medicaid, according to a news release from Goodwin’s office.

“Cheating Medicare and Medicaid is really cheating the American taxpayer,” Goodwin said. “Thanks to this settlement, money that was taken from the taxpayers by fraud can now be used to provide health care to the many people who depend on these programs.”

Pharmacists at Trivillian’s compound prescriptions, which involves combining, mixing or altering ingredients to create medication tailored to the needs of individual patients. Those compounded medications allegedly were not labeled in accordance with federal law.

From January 2010 to September 2014, Trivillian’s schemed to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by billing for drugs and medications that were not dispensed or were misbranded, according to court documents. Specifically, the pharmacy dispensed less expensive compounded drugs and medications but falsely billed them as more expensive drugs, court documents allege…

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