Wexler Wallace LLP Files Class Action against Walgreens and Par Pharmaceutical
On January 11, 2012, Wexler Wallace, with co-counsel Cafferty Faucher LLP and the Karmel Law Firm, filed a class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of the United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund (“UFCW”). UFCW seeks to represent a class of third party payors that were overcharged for prescription drugs taken by their members as a result of a scheme to illegally switch patients’ prescriptions.
Walgreens operates more than 7,000 pharmacies in forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Defendant Par Pharmaceutical markets and sells generic drugs, including generic versions of the highly prescribed brand name drugs Zantac (known generically as ranitidine HCl or “ranitidine”), a medication used to treat heartburn, ulcers and other digestive disorders, and Prozac (known generically as fluoxetine hydrochloride or “fluoxetine”), an antidepressant. The complaint alleges that, from July 1, 2001 through 2006, Walgreens and Par engaged in a widespread scheme to overcharge self-insured employers, union health and welfare funds and other private insurers by systematically switching patients prescriptions from a less expensive dosage form to a much more expensive one (i.e., from tablets to capsules or vice versa).
In addition to the extensive research UFCW and its counsel compiled through their investigation, the Complaint references testimony and insider documents that were unsealed at the end of last year in related whistleblower litigation brought on behalf of the federal government and a number of state governments.
If you are a third party payor that may have been overcharged for ranitidine capsules or fluoxetine tablets and would like more information about this case, you may contact us by completing our online form or by calling 312-346-2222.
To view a copy of the Complaint, please click here.