Mitchell Spivack, former owner of Verree Pharmacy, has agreed to pay more than $4.1 million to resolve civil liability under the Controlled Substances Act, False Claims Act and forfeiture, according to U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero.
Romero said the payment will resolve allegations that the pharmacy engaged in a years-long practice of illegally dispensing opioids and other controlled substances, and systematic health care fraud.
The proposed judgment, subject to court approval, would also permanently ban Spivack from ever dispensing controlled substances in the future.
On May 31, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a one-count criminal information against Spivack for conspiracy to defraud the United States based on allegations similar to those in the civil litigation. Spivack pleaded guilty to that charge on June 29.
“In a city that has been so adversely and disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic, Verree Pharmacy was the top retail pharmacy purchasing oxycodone in the entire state of Pennsylvania,” said Thomas Hodnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Spivack and Verree Pharmacy routinely demonstrated total disregard for their professional and ethical obligations, and improperly dispensed powerful painkillers when numerous warning signs were present.”
If the public has any information regarding Verree Pharmacy or any other health care fraud allegation, individuals should contact the HHS-OIG hotline at 800-HHS-TIPS.
Verree Pharmacy, 7960 Verree Road, operated as a small neighborhood pharmacy for more than 30 years.