Florida benefits from Walgreen Medicaid settlement

Oct 1, 2008

St. Petersburg Times–September 30, 2008

By Mark Albright, Times Staff Writer

Walgreen Co. has paid $9.9-million to settle a lawsuit alleging the drugstore chain overbilled Medicaid programs in four states by keeping co-payments that were also covered by private insurance. One of the states was Florida, which recovered $1.5-million for its program that is bankrolled by federal and state money. The case grew out of a federal whistle-blower suit filed by two Walgreens pharmacists in Minneapolis who split $1.4-million for bringing the matter to government attention. Governments can get three times damages in such false-claims suits, suggesting the actual overbilling was about $3.3-million.