Justice Department probes possible fraud case involving creams; 1 ad promoted by ex-NFL player Brett Favre
Feb 08, 2016 07:20 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Justice is in the initial stages of an investigation for possible fraud cases involving specialty creams that claim to treat pain and other ailments. The said type of topical creams is catered mainly to the elderly and athletes. One ad featured former NFL player Brett Favre, reports said.
Due to effective ads for this type of specialty creams, sales spiked recently, and with that came allegations that the products have small or no therapeutic effects at all. Authorities hinted that an insurance program for veterans may likely have involved fraud claims worth about half a billion dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 7, Sunday.
Investigations indicated that some pharmacies overbilled or refilled prescriptions without buyers' requests. Some drug stores allegedly sent more products than what was ordered, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Firms producing these creams even offered the products at a price of above $10,000 per tube of cream.
The special creams are advertised as a topical medicine that can help users quickly alleviate body pains or cramps, according to investigators. The creams also claimed to ease aches of aging for elderly.
Health insurance program Tricare, and other insurance agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid, and several private insurance firms allegedly have claims for prescriptions and purchase of the creams, people close to the investigation said. Fraud cases may arise from these claims if these health products sold are either not provided, not needed or not ordered, reports said.
Favre advertised for a product named Rx Pro. The cream is manufactured by World Health Industries Inc., which is one of the firms included in the investigation, The Clarion-Ledger reported.
Back in 2013, in an interview by SiriusXM hosts, Favre said he believed in the product and its medicinal value, reported the Journal Sentinel. "I can speak volumes on pain and narcotics use ... It's just endless what will happen with this product and this company," he was cited as saying.
Aside from World Health Industries, other companies connected to the firm are being probed, including Aspire Rx, 3B Medical Group and Opus Rx. As of date, no company or person has been charged with fraud cases yet, The Wall Street Journal noted.