CVS Caremark agrees to settle Medicaid fraud claims for $37 million

March 18, 2008 10:39:33 AM PDT
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corporation has agreed to pay almost $37 million to the federal government, 23 states and the District of Columbia to settle claims it billed Medicaid programs for a more expensive formulation of an antacid. The investigation began more than five years ago after a suburban Chicago pharmacist alerted authorities.

Attorneys say Rhode Island-based CVS gave Medicaid patients Ranitidine capsules instead of less expensive tablets. The drug is a generic version of the heartburn medication Zantac.

Authorities say the switch is illegal and allowed the company to charge state Medicaid programs more and reap a bigger profit.

Lawyers say CVS admits no wrongdoing in the case.

The settlement was announced Tuesday.