Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Secret, double life of a Walgreens druggist

This is a fascinating tale of a pharmacist-turned-lawyer who exposed a major corporation's fraudulent practices.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Neil Thompson arrived at Walgreens eight years ago with a pharmacist's calm demeanor, a disarming smile and an impeccable résumé that dated back to his boyhood at the family drugstore in south Minneapolis.

What Walgreens didn't know was that its new part-time employee had an ulterior motive: to expose the way pharmacies sometimes broke the law to make money. Thompson was so determined to stop the cheating that at age 45, he became a lawyer.

Starting in 2005, Thompson worked as a government-sanctioned undercover investigator, poring through records in the back offices of Walgreens stores. Little by little, he and a co-employee developed a case that Walgreens was overcharging Medicaid by millions.

Late last month, the secret lawsuit that Thompson and pharmacist Dan Bieurance filed against Walgreens became public. The U.S. Department of Justice announced that the pharmacy giant would pay $9.9 million to settle the case. The company said it had changed its procedures to end the overbilling. For turning in their employer, Thompson and Bieurance stand to gain $483,000 each. ...more

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