Walgreens settles pharmacist-consultation lawsuit

August 19, 2015

Walgreens has agreed to pay $502,200 to settle charges that some of its pharmacists in California failed to provide patient consultations required by law.

Walgreens has agreed to pay $502,200 to settle charges that some of its pharmacists in California failed to provide patient consultations required by law.

“Pharmacist consultations prevent drug errors and ensure that patients have the right prescription for their condition,” San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “Without these checks and balances, dire consequences could result.”

Rite Aid settles patient consultation lawsuit

Pharmacists are required to provide patient consultations when customers receive new prescriptions or new dosages of existing prescriptions.

Walgreens did not admit any liability. The agreement stipulates that Walgreens will be subject to an injunction requiring full compliance with California’s standards for proper patient consultations, and that the retail chain must implement an internal compliance program.  

Previously, both CVS and Rite Aid have also faced charges alleging its pharmacists at some California locations failed to provide required patient consultations. In 2013, a $658,500 judgment was issued against CVS; and in June 2014 a $498,250 judgment was issued against Rite Aid.

Several district attorneys’ offices in California worked with the California State Board of Pharmacy (CSBP) to conduct undercover investigations of the major pharmacy chains in the state.

 

Between 2010 and 2014, CSBP issued 21 administrative citations to Walgreens for alleged violations of the pharmacist consultation requirement. In 2013, undercover investigations made 28 prescription purchases from Walgreens locations in San Diego, Riverside, and Alameda counties.

The investigations found “a significant pattern of failures to provide the required consultations and/or failures to offer patient consultations by proper personnel.”