Alabama doctor accused of ordering prescriptions from drug company
A U.S. district judge in Alabama has found a doctor in Birmingham, Alabama, guilty of using his medical license to order prescriptions for a pharmacy owned by Humana and its pharmacy partners, according to court documents.
In a ruling released Thursday, U.A. District Judge Robert B. Stokes found Dr. Charles M. Jones had engaged in a pattern of improper use of his medical credentials to obtain prescription orders for Humana-owned pharmacies in the Birmingham area, and that he “made improper and unethical use of the authority granted him by law to exercise such authority.”
Stokes found Jones had improperly used his medical licenses in more than 20 instances to obtain prescriptions for Humans pharmacy, including one in June 2016, when he was working at a Birmingham hospital.
Jones, who was licensed to practice medicine in Alabama and was working as a medical director at the Birmingham hospital, used his credentials to authorize four Humans pharmacies in Birmingham and the Mobile area.
He did so after obtaining an order from Humana in November 2015, according the ruling.
The order came from Jones, who is a certified public accountant.
The order, the ruling said, was “without justification, arbitrary and capricious” and did not comply with state law.
In the months that followed, Stokes said, Jones “failed to maintain his professional standards” and acted in a “routine manner” when ordering prescriptions.
In January 2016, Humana told the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services that Jones was no longer licensed to perform medical and pharmacy functions in Alabama, and revoked his license in June.
Stokes also found Jones violated the Alabama Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits the practice of medicine in the state.
He was also found guilty of falsifying or forging prescriptions and falsifying records in an unrelated case.
Jones’ lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.
In his ruling, Stoke wrote that the U,S.
attorney’s office was “unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jones acted with an intent to defraud or injure Humana, Humans pharmaceutical company or its pharmacy licensees.”
“I find that, on the record before me, that there is sufficient evidence to prove that Jones’ conduct was motivated by greed, not benevolence,” Stokes wrote.
“In my view, there is no other reasonable explanation for the misconduct by Jones.”
Stoke also found that Jones had “no business dealings with Humans or any other company or person,” and that the pharmacies were operated by independent contractors and did little more than provide services to their customers.
The verdict comes a year after Humana settled an ongoing lawsuit against Jones.
The lawsuit alleged that Jones used his license to prescribe Humans products to people who did not have the correct documentation to purchase Humans, and to the extent that he did, he had not followed the proper procedures.
Jones pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
He faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 23.
The Birmingham-based company, which is based in Auburn, is a subsidiary of the U