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2004-06-27
Washington, D.C. Wal-Mart, Rite Aid Pay Millions to Settle Drug False Claims Case

Two retail giants got snared in the same net this week, as the federal government stayed the course in busting Wal-Mart and Rite Aide for charging taxpayers for drugs that never reached recipients, and ended up back in company stocks. According to the Associated Press this week, Wal-Mart and Rite Aid agreed to pay millions in penalties to settle U.S. Justice Department claims against them. Rite Aid agreed to cough up $5.6 million to federal taxpayers, plus another $1.4 million to states. The Justice Department charged that Rite Aid billed government programs for drugs that never reached consumers, and did so for four years. For its part, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $2.8 million for dispensing partial prescriptions due to insufficient stock, and then billing the federal programs as if it had delivered the full prescription to consumers. The Wal-Mart false claims went on for an entire decade from 1990 to 2000. In both of these cases, employees inside Rite Aid and Wal-Mart blew the whistle on their employers, and under federal law, will share in some of the settlement both companies agreed to pay.




What you can do: 'Our people make the difference' Wal-Mart says about its workers. In this case, some Wal-Mart whistleblower made the difference -- nearly $3 million difference. The employee who turned in Wal-Mart found a more lucrative way of making a living than by working in a Wal-Mart pharmacy. It is reassuring to know that Wal-Mart was ripping off the U.S. taxpayer for a decade by filing false drug claims for programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Just another example of the free market at work. Wal-Mart bills the federal marketplace for nonexistent drugs, and gets taxdollars back for free.














 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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