Walgreens pays $269.2 million to settle U.S. civil fraud lawsuits

FILE PHOTO: The Walgreens logo is seen outside the store in Times Square in New York
FILE PHOTO: The Walgreens logo is seen outside the store in Times Square in New York, U.S., July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

January 22, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc <WBA.O> will pay $269.2 million to settle two U.S. whistleblower lawsuits accusing it of civil fraud for overbilling federal healthcare programs, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

The pharmacy chain will pay $209.2 million to resolve claims it improperly billed Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens it dispensed to patients it knew did not need them.

Walgreens will also pay $60 million to resolve claims it overbilled Medicaid by failing to disclose and charge the lower drug prices it offered the public through a discount program.

The settlements resolve claims under the federal False Claims Act, and were respectively approved last week by U.S. District Judges Paul Crotty and Paul Oetken, who both sit in Manhattan.

Walgreens admitted and accepted responsibility for the alleged wrongdoing, the settlement agreements show.

The company had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom Brown)

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