Walgreens to pay $50M kickback settlement

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens has agreed to pay $50 million to resolve allegations it violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, according to the Department of Justice.

The agreement settles allegations that Walgreens violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by giving hundreds of thousands of Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare beneficiaries discounts on prescriptions through its Prescriptions Savings Club program to entice them to fill all of their prescriptions at Walgreens stores. Walgreens employees enrolled customers who were beneficiaries of government healthcare programs in the drug savings club from January 2007 through December 2015, according to the DOJ.

The settlement also resolves allegations Walgreens paid its employees a bonus for each customer they enrolled in the prescription discount program without first verifying whether the customers were beneficiaries of a government healthcare program.

Under the agreement, Walgreens agreed to pay $46.21 million to the federal government and admitted responsibility for the conduct alleged in the government's complaint. Walgreens has also agreed to pay about $3.79 million to resolve numerous state civil fraud claims, according to the DOJ.

The allegations against Walgreens were originally brought in a qui tam, or whistle-blower, lawsuit under the False Claims Act.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Appeals court reduces judgment against HCA to $188M in breach of contract suit
Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma accused of billing fraud
CHS executives ink $60M settlement in investor suit

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