Local Physician and Clinic Sentenced on Health Care Related Charges
ST. LOUIS, MO—DR. MEL E. LUCAS and PATTERSON MEDICAL CLINIC, INC. were sentenced for receipt of misbranded drugs and false statement charges respectively. Both were sentenced to three years of probation.
In addition, Dr. Lucas and Patterson Medical Clinic entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for payment to Medicare and TRICARE. Pursuant to that agreement, they have repaid the United States $185,799.
According to court documents, Patterson Medical Clinic Inc., owned by Dr. Mel E. Lucas, made false statements in patient files in connection with the delivery of health care services. Specifically, the clinic made entries on treatment forms so that the forms purported to represent that a physical exam had taken place on the date therein when no such exam had in fact taken place.
With respect to the misbranded drugs charge, according to court documents, from April 2009 to September 2011, Dr. Lucas repeatedly purchased Aclasta, a non-FDA approved drug used for the treatment of osteoporosis, online from two Canadian companies, Canada Health Solutions and Global Health Supplies. Dr. Lucas paid about $749 for each bottle of Aclasta, which was several hundred dollars less than the price of a bottle of Reclast, which is an FDA- approved drug also used to treat osteoporosis. The bottles of Aclasta had Italian and Turkish language on them, which was a clear indication that the drug was not intended for use in the United States.
Lucas, Chesterfield, MO, pled guilty in May to receipt in interstate commerce of misbranded prescription drugs. Patterson Medical Clinic, Inc., pled guilty in May to false statements related to health services. Both appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Henry Autrey. Co-defendant Robyn Levy also pled guilty in May to receipt in interstate commerce of misbranded prescription drugs. She is scheduled to appear for sentencing later this month.
This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Reginald Harris and Suzanne Moore handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.