February 17, 2016: United States And Vermont Doctor Resolve Matter Involving Non-FDA Approved Drugs And False Claims
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today the resolution of its investigation of Dr. Gamal H. Eltabbakh for submission of false claims for payment to Medicaid and Medicare. Under the terms of the agreement between the parties, Dr. Eltabbakh and his company, Lake Champlain Gynecologic Oncology P.C. (“LCGO”), paid $500,000.00 to the United States. The money will be divided between the federal Medicare ($391,957.81), federal Medicaid ($63,031.81), and Vermont Medicaid ($45,010.38) programs to which Dr. Eltabbakh submitted the alleged false billings.
The settlement resolves allegations that from approximately January 2010 through February 29, 2012, LCGO purchased a portion of the drugs used by Dr. Eltabbakh in chemotherapy treatments, including Aloxi, Neulastum, Bevacizumb, Taxotere, Gemzar, Hycamtin, and Alimta, from a Canadian drug distributor and other sources. The government further alleged that the drugs had not received final marketing approval from the FDA and were not covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, the agreement and payment are neither an admission of liability by Dr. Eltabbakh or LCGO, nor a concession by the United States that its claims were not well founded.
This matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG). “We will continue to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid only pay for drugs that meet the coverage requirements of the programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Phillip M. Coyne of HHS OIG. “Working with our Federal partners, we will continue to ensure beneficiaries receive safe and effective treatments.”
Dr. Eltabbakh was represented by Ian P. Carleton, Esq., of Sheehey, Furlong and Behm, P.C. of Burlington, Vermont. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Gelber and Eugenia Cowles.