Coakley, Walgreens settle for $2.8M

Bryan Cohen Jul. 14, 2011, 5:32pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement on Thursday with a national pharmacy chain that will pay the state $2.8 million.

The Walgreens Company will make the payment to the state and approximately 75 cities and towns in the state after entering into a settlement with Coakley's office over alleged overcharging of public entities for prescription drugs under the workers compensation insurance system.

Coakley alleged that Walgreens billed and received payment from cities, towns and state agencies for filling prescriptions for workers compensation claimants at prices that were in excess of those permitted by state laws.

As part of the settlement, Walgreens will make a payment to the state totaling $2.8 million, including a payment of approximately $200,000 in restitution to the city of Boston, in addition to refunds in excess of $10,000 to the Massachusetts cities of Holyoke, Lowell, New Bedford, Revere, Winchester, Springfield, Fairhaven, Needham, Auburn, Norwood and South Hadley. Municipalities will receive an average refund of approximately $8,900.

"Cities and towns are under a great deal of economic stress, and every dollar counts," Coakley said. "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."

Walgreens allegedly overcharged towns, cities, and state agencies approximately $1.4 million since 2002. Walgreens will re-pay these overcharges and pay an additional $1.4 million to the state as part of the settlement. Coakley has reached similar settlements with CVS, Stop & Shop, and Shaws Supermarkets.

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