Philly workers’ comp lawyers and their special pharmacy

“Three partners at the [law] firm and its chief financial officer are majority owners of a mail-order pharmacy in the Philadelphia suburbs that has teamed up with a secretive network of doctors that prescribes unproven and exorbitantly priced pain creams to injured workers — some creams costing more than $4,000 per tube…. These sorts of doctor- and lawyer-owned pharmacies are largely unknown outside of the local workers’ comp industry and are not fully understood even within legal and medical communities, because the lawyers and physicians behind them have kept a low profile or sought to conceal their ownership….Clients who click through to the pharmacy’s website are told: ‘Focus on your recovery. Let us handle the fine print.'” [William Bender, Philadelphia Daily News]


  • So much that has gone wrong here, it’s hard to know where to begin. As an ex-worker’s comp attorney, employer/insurer side, I can tell you that there is very little concrete relationship between an “injury” and the amount of time off, treatment given and money spent. Once had a guy whose finger was amputated. He took a week off. But a “back injury” — measured by nothing more than the proclamation that “my back hurts” — can stretch into a 500-week vacation.

  • Although no lawyers are owners, the Florida WC system is dealing with a similar magic exorbitant pain cream scam… the pharmacy would directly contact newly injured workers via a state database (now restricted) and offer “free” pain cream as an alternative to opiates.” Then deeming themselves “authorized by operation of law” they would bill WC insurers. Some would pay, most did not, at which time they filed hundreds of “reimbursement disputes”. The scheme hit a snag when multiple insurers pushed back, and now the pharmacy has filed for bankruptcy..