Wife Of Clinic Doctor Indicted In $13M Fraud
A Columbus woman has been indicted by a federal court in Alabama of conspiring to defraud health insurance companies.
Robin Lowry, 49, is accused of being part of a multi-faceted scheme in which Global Compounding Pharmacy, an Alabama-based pharmaceutical company she worked for, defrauded Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and one of its prescription drug administrators out of more than $13 million, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama.
Lowry is a former employee of both Alabama-based pharmaceutical company Global Compounding Pharmacy and Columbus-based medical clinic owned by her husband, Dr. Slater Lowry.
According to federal court documents, between October 2014 and November 2015, she wrote unnecessary prescriptions for Global’s medical products and submitted fraudulent claims for payment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
Lowry’s role was reportedly part of a larger conspiracy by Global employees to hire sales representatives who worked, sometimes without pay, in medical prescribers’ offices where they could promote and write prescriptions for Global’s products.
Lowry was one of several sales representatives hired by Global Compounding Pharmacy who were related to medical professionals and had access to doctors’ offices where they could sell Global’s products to patients.
Prosecutors seek to hold Lowry accountable for between $250,000 and $550,000 worth of fraudulent claims.
Global hired Lowry in October 2014. In addition to her base salary, she was paid a monthly commission payment based on profits for prescriptions she obtained, according to court documents.
The documents go on to say she sent prescriptions for products not medically necessary for herself, other Global employees and their family members, including two children younger than 7. She is also accused of forging signatures on prescriptions and sending them to Global.
Global was paid more than $270,000 on behalf of the health insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama for fraudulent prescriptions Lowry sent to Global, according to court documents.
Lowry could face forfeiture of more than $272,000 and up to 10 years in prison, the maximum penalty for health care fraud.
The press release said Lowry obtained the prescriptions from “a prescriber with whom she had a close familial relationship, and who sometimes issued the prescriptions to people without talking to or having a doctor-patient relationship with them.”
Neither Dr. Lowry from Lowry’s Medical Clinic nor an attorney from the U.S. District Court responded to calls from The Dispatch by press time. The court documents do not implicate Dr. Lowry.
The drugs Lowry allegedly wrote prescriptions for included pain relief medications for mild pains like skin irritations and minor aches and pains of muscles, along with Ortho D, a dietary management product. In July 2015, she sent a forged SilaPak prescription for a three-year-old despite Global’s marketing materials warning not to use SilaPak cream on children, according to the press release.