The pharmacy business is fraught with danger, not the least of which is complying with complex government regulations of insurance reimbursements.
The latest entrepreneur to get snared: Del Parrish, owner of Naples-based Sunshine Pharmacy, who fended off large-chain competitors such as CVS and Walgreens with his pharmacy's customer service.
Federal prosecutors recently charged Parrish, 44, with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The government alleges that Del Parris and Patricia Parris, 73, conspired to file fraudulent claims for government reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. If convicted, each could face 10 years in prison.
It would be a shame if the allegations are proven true, because Parrish built a successful chain of pharmacies with a fleet of delivery vans for homebound customers, wholesale drug distribution to assisted-living facilities and home medical equipment sales throughout the region.
Sunshine Pharmacy reported $37 million in revenues in 2010, up 23% from 2009, according to the latest available figures compiled by the Business Observer for the Gulf Coast 500, an annual ranking of the top companies in the region.