AG to Walgreens: Medicaid fraud will ‘never be tolerated’
New York Attorney General Letitia James blasted pharmacy giant Walgreens on Tuesday after announcing two multimillion-dollar settlements related to the corporation’s alleged Medicaid Program fraud.
New York state joined the federal government and other states in reaching a nationwide $209.2 million settlement with Walgreens after claims that the company over-dispensed insulin pens to Medicaid beneficiaries at its pharmacies. James subsequently announced an $8 million settlement in principle with Walgreens for allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.
“Cheating our state’s Medicaid program will never be tolerated by this office,” said James. “We will continue to root out illegal practices that increase costs of health care and medication for all New York Medicaid recipients and will hold accountable any provider that engages in these deceptive practices.”
Walgreens allegedly dispensed insulin pens in boxes containing five pens, regardless of the patient’s needs and ignoring the dosage guidelines given by doctors, according to the settlement. Thus, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries were routinely receiving more insulin than prescribed, paving the way for Walgreens to bill Medicaid for the additional doses.