FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
WAL-MART TO PAY $2.8 MILLION FOR ALLEGEDLY DISPENSING PARTIAL PRESCRIPTIONS & BILLING U.S. HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR FULL AMOUNTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., an international retail merchandising company operating retail pharmacies throughout the United States, agreed to pay $2,866,904 to settle allegations that the company submitted false prescription claims to government health insurance programs, the Justice Department announced today. Retail pharmacies operated by Wal-Mart are alleged to have dispensed partial or "short" prescriptions due to insufficient stock, but billed the government health insurance programs (Medicaid, Tricare Management Activity, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program) for the full quantities prescribed for beneficiaries of the government health insurance programs.
Wal-Mart agreed to pay the federal government, the District of Columbia and participating states. The settlement covers the time period from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2000.
"Today's settlement is an example of the Department's determination to ensure that the United States is fully compensated for all overpayments by federal health care programs," said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Departmentís Civil Division.
A portion of the settlement amount settles a qui tam or whistleblower complaint brought against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. by Marion Tucker Altman, Jr. in the District of South Carolina. As a result of the settlement, Mr. Altman will receive $95,766.22. Under the False Claims Act, private individuals who bring suits against companies can receive a portion of the recovery in a case that the government joins.
Wal-Mart entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Corporate Integrity Agreement addresses the company's prescription billing procedures and other compliance-related issues.
The case is entitled United States ex rel. Marion Tucker Altman, Jr. v. Wal-Mart, et al, Case NO. 2 96 1005 2 (D-SC).