Walgreens to Pay $269 Million on Claims It Overcharged Federal Programs

Walgreens to Pay $269 Million on Claims It Overcharged Federal Programs


Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay $209.2 million for insulin-pen overbilling and $60 million for failing to charge Medicaid the lower drug prices it offered the public through a discount program.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay $209.2 million for insulin-pen overbilling and $60 million for failing to charge Medicaid the lower drug prices it offered the public through a discount program.


Photo:

mohammad khursheed/Reuters

Walgreens Boots Alliance
Inc.


WBA-1.16%

has agreed to pay more than $269 million to settle federal and state lawsuits that accused it of overbilling federal health-care programs.

Two separate settlements involving Walgreens, approved last week by U.S. District Court judges in Manhattan, were unsealed Tuesday, according to the U.S. Justice Department. U.S. officials said the company accepted responsibility for conduct the government alleged in complaints under the False Claims Act.

In the first settlement, Walgreens agreed to pay $209.2 million to the U.S. and several state governments for improperly billing Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health-care programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens it dispensed to program beneficiaries who didn’t need them, according to U.S. officials.

Federal prosecutors said Walgreens configured its electronic pharmacy management system to prevent its pharmacists from dispensing less than a full box of five insulin pens, even when patients didn’t need that much.

When a full box of insulin pens exceeded the federal limit for the daily doses that could be reimbursed, Walgreens stated in its reimbursement claims to the government that the total days of supply didn’t go over the limit, according to prosecutors.

In the second settlement, Walgreens agreed to pay $60 million to settle claims that it overbilled Medicaid by failing to disclose and charge the lower drug prices it offered the public through a discount program.

Walgreens operates a program, the Prescription Savings Club, that provides customers discounts on brand-name and generic drugs. However, federal prosecutors said Walgreens didn’t disclose the discounted drug price when filing for reimbursement from Medicaid.

“Walgreens is pleased to have resolved these matters with the Department of Justice,” the company said in a statement, adding it cooperated with the government’s investigation and has admitted no wrongdoing.

Write toPatrick Thomas at[email protected]

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