Class Action Suit Accuses Walgreen, Par Pharmaceutical of Overcharging Conspiracy

A union benefits fund has filed a class-action lawsuit against Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) and Par Pharmaceutical Companies (NYSE:PRX) accusing them of having engaged in “at least two widespread schemes to overcharge” for generic drugs.

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Walgreen and generic pharmaceutical marker Par allegedly conspired to sell Par manufactured and/or marketed generic version of antacid Zantac and antidepressant Prozac in dosage forms that weren’t subject to private and governmental reimbursement limitations.

The suit, filed by the Union Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund, alleges that Walgreen purchased those dosage forms from Par at a much higher cost than the widely prescribed dosage forms, and then “systematically and unlawfully filled its customers’ prescriptions with Par’s more expensive products, rather than the inexpensive dosage forms that were prescribed by physicians.”

Plaintiffs say insurance companies, self-insured employers, and union health and welfare funds were overcharged by the drugstore and pharmaceutical company, paying two to four times more than they would have had the prescriptions been filled as written. The union benefits fund, which is asking for a trial by jury, alleges members of the class-action suit paid “many millions of dollars” for the higher-priced generic drugs. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Knapp at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com