Walgreens to pay $269 million on claims it overcharged federal programs

Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to pay more than $269 million to settle federal and state lawsuits that accused it of overbilling federal health care programs. Two separate settlements involving Walgreens were unsealed Tuesday in which the company accepted responsibility for conduct the government alleged in complaints under the False Claims Act. The settlements were approved last week by U.S. District Court judges in Manhattan. In the first settlement, Walgreens agreed to pay $209.2 million to the U.S. and several state governments for improperly billing Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens it dispensed to program beneficiaries who did not need them. Federal prosecutors said Walgreens configured its electronic pharmacy management system to prevent its pharmacists from dispensing less than a full box of five insulin pens, even when patients did not need that much. In the second settlement, Walgreens agreed to pay $60 million to settle claims that it overbilled Medicaid by failing to disclose and charge the lower drug prices it offered the public through a discount program. "Walgreens is pleased to have resolved these matters with the Department of Justice," the company said in a statement, adding it cooperated with the government's investigation and has admitted no wrongdoing.

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