FORMER PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT (CLOUGH) CHARGED IN HEALTHCARE KICKBACK SCHEME

    Concord, N.H.—Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that Christopher Clough, 43, of Dover, New Hampshire, was arrested today on charges that he received kickbacks in exchange for prescribing a powerful fentanyl spray to patients in violation of federal law.

According to the indictment, Clough worked as a physician assistant in New Hampshire. He was a frequent prescriber of a fentanyl spray that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat breakthrough cancer pain. From approximately mid-2013 through Fall 2014, Clough wrote more than 700 prescriptions for the fentanyl spray in New Hampshire, including more than 200 prescriptions for Medicare patients. During that time, the manufacturer of the drug paid Clough purportedly to serve as a speaker at more than 40 programs at a rate of approximately $1,000 per event. In many instances, the programs were merely sham events where Clough was paid to have dinner with employees or representatives of the pharmaceutical company. In other instances, the programs were attended by individuals, including colleagues and friends, who were not authorized to prescribe controlled substances. For the majority of these dinner programs, the indictment alleges that Clough did not give any kind of presentation about the drug at all. Clough and others often forged signatures of attendees on sign-in sheets in an effort to make the dinners appear to be legitimate. The indictment alleges that the speaking program payments existed primarily to reward Clough for writing substantial numbers of prescriptions and to create an incentive for him both to issue new prescriptions and to increase dosages on existing prescriptions. From August 2013 until October 2014, Clough was paid more than $41,000 by the drug manufacturer.  READ MORE>>>