Walgreens Fined $7.9 Million For Giving Away $25 Gift Cards
Recently, Walgreens announced that it would give a $25 gift card to any consumer who transferred a prescription to their pharmacy. Now, however, Walgreens is paying a $7.9 million settlement to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.
Walgreens allegedly violated public trust by influencing a healthcare buying decision of a federally funded health care with a financial incentive. That's right. Every time Walgreens gave one of those gift cards to anyone with Medicare, Medicaid or any other federally funded health care program, it violated the law.
Even though the Walgreens advertisements cautioned that the gift card was not valid with these programs, some pharmacy employees allowed the elderly, the disabled and the poor have one anyway.
Unfortunately, however, the courts awarded Cassie Bass, a pharmacy technician formerly employed by Walgreens, and Jack Chin, an independent pharmacist, $1,277,172 each for 'whistleblowing.' These funds are in addition to what Walgreens must already pay.