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Walgreens to pay millions to settle overcharging cases

Most recent agreement calls for $60 million settlement

Dreamstime

Walgreens has agreed to pay $60 million to settle allegations of overcharging for prescription drugs.
Dreamstime Walgreens has agreed to pay $60 million to settle allegations of overcharging for prescription drugs.

Walgreens has agreed to pay $60 million to settle allegations that it “knowingly overcharged government health care plans such as Medicaid for prescription drugs,” said Stein Mitchell Beato and Missner, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm that launched the whistleblower lawsuit against the pharmacy giant in 2012.

According to the decision delivered last week by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the pharmacy giant “resolved allegations that the company defrauded the U.S. government and 39 states by submitting false and inflated prices for prescription drugs to increase its government reimbursements.”

This is in addition to a $209 million lawsuit Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to settle in another concurrent whistleblower suit concerning the overcharging for drugs.

The $60 million suit was brought by whistleblower Marc D. Baker, who worked as a pharmacy manager at a Florida Walgreens for a decade. He joined with the Washington law firm to pursue the litigation.

The $60 million is in addition to a $209.2 million settlement on Jan. 22 in which Walgreens was accused of improperly billing Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs from 2006 to 2017 for insulin pens Walgreens sold to patients that did not always adhere to the dosages prescribed by their physicians.

That whistleblower suit alleged that Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries “routinely received more insulin than prescribed, and Walgreens billed Medicaid for the additional doses,” according to Pharmacy Times.

But in a separate statement, the Illinois-based pharmacy chain said it did not admit to “wrongdoing,” and that agreeing to the settlements were in the best interests of customers, patients and other stakeholders.

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Walgreens has more than 9,500 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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