Ohio gets nearly $7 million in settlement from Walgreens

The Columbus Dispatch | Marty Schladen

Ohio is recovering almost $7 million from two actions that authorities are labeling prescription-drug scams, Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday. Authorities were alerted to both by whistle-blower suits.

In one, drug retailer Walgreens programmed its computers so it would over-dispense insulin to participants in Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor, and Medicare, the federal program for the elderly.

“Walgreens admitted to programming its computer system to define a full box of five insulin pens as the minimum dispensing package size,” Yost’s office said in a written statement. “This definition prevented Walgreens pharmacists from being able to dispense fewer than five pens even though a patient’s prescription called for fewer pens than a box of five.”

In the other purported scam, Walgreens was accused of submitting $60 million more in claims to state Medicaid programs than it was entitled to under Medicaid rules.

Ohio’s portion of the settlements was part of $117 million paid to state Medicaid programs and a portion of $269 million Walgreens paid overall.

As state auditor and now as attorney general, Yost has said he would focus on why the cost to taxpayers of prescription drugs keeps rising.

Read the full story here.