January 23, 2019 | Office of Attorney General Keith Ellison

Press Release

Attorney General Ellison’s office settles three multistate healthcare-related fraud and deceptive-marketing cases, recoups $3.1M for Minnesota

Settles with Walgreens in two Medicaid fraud cases and with J&J over deceptive marketing of hip implants

January 23, 2019 (SAINT PAUL) — Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced his office has settled three multistate, healthcare-related fraud and deceptive-marketing claims, which will recoup $3.1 million for Minnesota.

“Part of being able to afford your life is being able to trust that healthcare companies are being honest with you,” Attorney General Ellison said. “In these cases, we succeeded in holding two companies accountable for fraud and deceptive practices that cost people money and resulted in pain and extra medical procedures.

“I’m proud of the hard work that the staff of the Attorney General’s Office put in to recoup these dollars for the people of Minnesota,” Ellison concluded.

The first settlement requires Walgreens to pay a total $209 million to Minnesota, the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, and the federal government to resolve allegations that it knowingly dispensed hundreds of thousands more insulin pens than needed to beneficiaries of Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs, then improperly billed those programs for them. Minnesota’s Medicaid program will recover more than $761,000 in this settlement.

The second settlement requires Walgreens also to pay a total $60 million to Minnesota, 38 other states and the District of Columbia, and the federal government, to resolve allegations that it overbilled Medicaid by failing to disclose to and charge Medicaid the lower drug prices that Walgreens offered the public through a discount program. Minnesota’s Medicaid program will recoup more than $212,000 in this settlement.

In both settlements, Walgreens admitted and accepted responsibility for conduct that Minnesota, the other states, and the federal government alleged in their complaints under the False Claims Act. More information about these settlements is here.

In the third settlement, Minnesota and 45 other attorneys general reached a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary, DePuy, to resolve allegations that DePuy used “unfair and deceptive” practices to make misleading claims about the longevity of its metal-on-metal hip-implant devices. As these devices failed faster than the company claimed, some people required expensive hip-implant revision surgeries, and experienced pain, allergic reactions, and other medical conditions. Minnesota will receive more than $2.15 million from this settlement.