Walgreen Co. has agreed to pay $ 60 million to the federal government, Michigan and 38 other states to settle a whistleblowing process that makes health fraud allegations.
The Deerfield, Illinois-based pharmacy chain, which operates 233 locations in Michigan, raised accusations that it had incorrectly charged high drug prices to increase government compensation, according to a press release from the Michigan Attorney General's Office.
The settlement, reached last week, according to the release is the biggest in its kind & # 39; with a retail pharmacy. The lawsuit was first instituted by whistleblower Marc D. Baker and his legal counsel in Washington, D.C.-based Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP.
Walgreens did not recognize any liability as part of the settlement.
"The company fully cooperated with the government and accepted no liability", according to a company statement by e-mail to Crain & # 39; s. "Walgreens is a pharmacy company that lives and works in the communities we serve, and we take the safety and reliability of the medicines that our customers need very seriously, and we resolve these issues because we believe this is in the best interests of our customers, patients and other stakeholders to continue. "
The claimant alleged that Walgreens filed high prices for drug payments with plans for healthcare in the health sector after he reduced general public prices through the Prescription Savings Club. The company used this scheme to keep its customer prices low, while according to the lawsuit it did not lower its sales.
The settlement decision was taken last week by the US district court in the southern district of New York. It marks the end of a six-year investigation that was started by the American law firm after the lawsuit was filed in 2012. Walgreens Boots Alliance, the holding company of the pharmacy, agreed to pay $ 209 million to the US government in a separate, simultaneous whistleblower lawsuit.
In the recent settlement of $ 60 million, Walgreens admitted that "more money was paid in fees than the government would have paid if Walgreens had identified the prices of the Prescription Savings Club as the (usual and usual) prices", the release.
The settlement amounts are "fully reserved" in the company's financial statements from November 30, according to the company.