Walgreens settles drug switching allegations

June 5, 2008

Walgreens has agreed to pay $35 million in generic drug switching allegations lawsuit.

Walgreens has paid $35 million to 42 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to settle allegations it overcharged Medicaid by switching dosage forms in filling generic Prozac, Zantac, and Eldepryl prescriptions. The settlement resulted from a suit filed by Behn and Wyetzner in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This is the third case Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered, has handled for pharmacist whistleblower Bernard Lisitza. Prior generic drug switching cases by Lisitza resulted in a $37 million settlement earlier this year with CVS Caremark Corp., owner of CVS pharmacies, and a $50 million settlement in late 2006 with Omnicare. According to the complaint, Walgreen had been illegally switching between tablets and capsules of ranitidine (generic Zantac) and fluoxetine (generic Prozac) in order to charge higher prices to Medicaid.

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