Friday, February 15, 2019

Pharmacy Fraud Within Pharmaceutical Co-Pay Programs: What You Need To Know

Today’s guest post comes from Tim Ogren, Senior Vice President, Products at TrialCard.

Tim discusses the rise in pharmacies making fraudulent claims and the costs of these claims. Learn more in Trialcard’s white paper: Detecting Pharmacy Fraud: Is Your Brand’s Co-Pay Program Protected?

TrialCard developed Spotlight®, a pharmacy fraud detection product for manufacturers. To learn more, contact Tim Ogren, TrialCard’s Senior Vice President of Products, at

Read on for Tim’s insights.

Pharmacy Fraud Within Pharmaceutical Co-Pay Programs: What You Need To Know
By Tim Ogren, Senior Vice President, Products at TrialCard

On a single day in early January 2019, TrialCard Incorporated’s Pharmacy Fraud Detection team identified and blocked three pharmacies engaged in fraudulent behavior associated with pharmaceutical co-pay programs. These pharmacies submitted claims for payment on expensive prescriptions that were never filled or distributed to patients.

Fortunately, TrialCard was able to intercept the fraudulent transactions on the same day they were submitted, thereby saving our client nearly $2 million. Had these claims gone through, the brand’s reimbursement budget for the entire year would have been exhausted.

These are not isolated incidents. TrialCard discovers an average of five fraudulent pharmacies per month. The dollar amount associated with this fraudulent behavior can be staggering, especially when you consider that in many cases, smaller pharmacies are committing these criminal acts.

As a pharmaceutical solutions provider, TrialCard partners with brands in order to help patients obtain—and remain on—potentially lifesaving therapy. As such, we are accustomed to having difficult conversations with our pharmaceutical manufacturer clients about risk mitigation and compliance challenges they face. The issue of pharmacy fraud is especially personal for us; we want to ensure that our client’s dollars assist consumers in need, not line the pockets of rogue pharmacy owners whose behavior is completely contrary to the benefit of the patients that they have promised to serve.

When TrialCard identifies a pharmacy that is involved in unscrupulous behavior, we immediately remove the pharmacy from our network. The pharmacy in question is also permanently blocked from participating in all future programs. As a result, any legitimate patients seeking to fill prescriptions at the offending pharmacy will not be able to use our co-pay cards, possibly paying more for their medications or abandoning therapy altogether.

In an effort to continuously improve our service offerings to clients, TrialCard recently completed additional enhancements to its Pharmacy Fraud Detection capabilities. While we were very adept at detecting fraud in the past, we knew there was a need to re-tool our product to keep pace with the changes we had recently observed in the market. Our solution also had to discover a way to stop the flow of reimbursement cash to the offending pharmacies.

TrialCard’s dedicated product manager, working with an in-house analytics team, developed a comprehensive proprietary algorithm that helps to reveal the offending pharmacies--and does so in less time. The TrialCard experts, with backgrounds in federal law enforcement, were able to view the problem—and solution—through a different lens. TrialCard also identified a need for a full-time, dedicated fraud investigator and hired an expert with more than a decade of experience at one of the nation’s largest insurance companies.

The result? Spotlight®—TrialCard’s new, industry-leading pharmacy fraud detection tool. Spotlight examines all pharmacy claims in near real time and flags pharmacies that are potentially engaging in fraudulent behavior.

Due to the high number of patient affordability programs that TrialCard manages, we are able to cross-reference multiple data points to spot anomalies. By utilizing this plethora of data, we are able to flag suspect pharmacies and stop many pharmacies from receiving payment for fraudulent claims. In January 2019 alone, TrialCard removed eleven pharmacies from our extensive network, thereby preventing millions of dollars from reaching the offending pharmacies.

With fraudulent pharmacy activity on the rise, it is crucial that pharmaceutical manufacturers choose a solutions provider like TrialCard who can quickly detect fraudulent pharmacy activity before payment is sent to the offending pharmacies. Once payment has been made, it is very difficult to recover. Although no solution is 100% effective, the enhancements made to TrialCard’s fraud detection methodology and the addition of a full-time fraud investigator will further assist brands in reducing market risks.

For more information about TrialCard’s pharmacy fraud detection product, please contact Tim Ogren, TrialCard’s Senior Vice President of Products, at or e-mail us at You may also download our white paper: Detecting Pharmacy Fraud: Is Your Brand’s Co-Pay Program Protected?.

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