No one wants to spend more than they have to, and for many people with expensive prescriptions, online pharmacies are convenient and cost-effective for getting prescriptions filled. Unfortunately, tales of online pharmacy fraud have caused even reputable online pharmacies to be questioned. Being accused of operating an internet pharmacy outside of federal regulations or being accused of illegally prescribing drugs over the internet can have serious repercussions. Luckily a Virginia federal healthcare online pharmacy fraud lawyer can help. Call today to discuss your case with a federal healthcare fraud lawyer in Virginia.
It is not illegal to operate an internet pharmacy or to sell prescription medications online. However, in order to do so, one must be properly licensed to dispense controlled substances and the online pharmacy may not sell medications without a valid prescription.
Online pharmacies may operate illegally in the following ways:
The FBI calls internet pharmacy fraud “one of its top health care fraud priorities,” and counts among its successes a 313-count indictment against several people alleged to be involved in an illegal online pharmacy.
The federal government heavily prosecutes allegations of online pharmacy fraud. A Virginia federal health care online pharmacy fraud lawyer should be prepared to fight for your rights and be equipped to withstand the challenges to your case.
In general, federal health care fraud (18 US Code 1347) carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. However, online pharmacy fraud may carry harsher penalties if a person is harmed by taking a counterfeit, expired, or alternate medication. Health care fraud which results in serious bodily injury is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. An act of health care fraud which results in death carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.
In prosecuting online pharmacy fraud, the federal government is likely to seek an indictment for multiple related offenses. For example, a person accused of operating an illegal online pharmacy may be charged with health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy, and violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Consult an online pharmacy fraud lawyer to understand all of the charges you may be facing and the potential consequences of each. Your federal health care fraud lawyer can begin building defenses against the federal charges you face.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) offers a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program to grant accreditation to online pharmacies. But lack of accreditation’s does not mean an internet pharmacy is illegal. Nor does VIPPS accreditation prevent a pharmacy from being prosecuted for online pharmacy fraud.
If you are accused of health care fraud in connection with an internet pharmacy, call now to schedule a free consultation with a Virginia federal online pharmacy fraud lawyer.