Lancaster County Pharmacy and Pharmacist Agree to Resolve Civil Allegations of Dispensing Controlled Substances Without a Prescription and Falsely Billing Medicare for $2.9 Million
PHILADELPHIA (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that the United States filed a civil lawsuit against Lancaster County-based McElroy Pharmacy, Inc. and Jeffrey Eshelman alleging a years-long practice of illegally dispensing opioids and other controlled substances, and billing Medicare for drugs that were not actually dispensed to beneficiaries. At the same time the civil suit was filed, the United States also filed a proposed consent judgment that, subject to the court’s approval, would resolve the lawsuit. The consent judgment would require McElroy Pharmacy and Eshelman to pay $2.9 million in civil penalties and damages under the Controlled Substances Act and False Claims Act, and would permanently prohibit them from dispensing controlled substances or obtaining another controlled substance registration in the future.
The civil lawsuit alleges that McElroy Pharmacy, which operated as a retail pharmacy in Lititz, PA, and its co-owner and pharmacist, Jeffrey Eshelman, on many occasions illegally dispensed hydrocodone and other controlled substances without requiring any prescription. As alleged in the complaint, McElroy and Eshelman did so with the knowledge that the individual to whom they dispensed hydrocodone, in one particular case, had a substance use disorder.