The Walgreens Company (Walgreens) has agreed to pay the Commonwealth and approximately 75 Massachusetts cities and towns $2.8 Million in a settlement with Attorney General Coakley’s Office. An ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Insurance and Financial Services Division exposed that the pharmacy company was overcharging public entities for prescription drugs under the workers´ compensation insurance system. Attorney General Coakley accused Walgreens of billing and receiving payments from cities, towns and state agencies for filling prescriptions for workers compensation claimants at higher prices than what is allowed by Massachusetts laws.
In a statement released by Coakley´s office, she valued Walgreens excess charges at $1.4 million since 2002. Walgreens has agreed to pay these overcharges as well as an additional $1.4 million to the Commonwealth. Coakley stated: “Cities and towns are under a great deal of economic stress, and every dollar counts…Here, the cities and towns were overcharged for prescription drug purchases. Today’s action recovers nearly three million back for local communities, and works to prevent these kinds of overcharges from happening in the future.”
Under the settlement, which was filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the city of Boston will receive approximately $200,000 in restitution. Springfield, Holyoke, Fairhaven, Needham, Lowell, Auburn, New Bedford, Norwood, Revere, South Hadley, and Winchester will also each receive restitution of approximately $10,000. Towns will approximately receive $8,900 each in restitution. The Attorney General has reached settlements also with CVS, Shaws Supermarkets, and Stop & Shop for similarly filling prescriptions for workers´ compensation claimants at higher prices than what is permitted.
According to a Walgreens spokeswoman, the company “did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing and agreed to settle this issue to avoid further legal expense.”
Walgreens to pay $2.8m to resolve allegations of overcharging, The Boston Globe, July 14, 2011
Walgreens to Pay $2.8 Million to Resolve Allegations of Prescription Overcharges, Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley Press Release, July 14, 2011
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