Walgreens pays $7.5 million to settle lawsuit over past employee charged with pretending to be a pharmacist

Reuters/Mohammad KhursheedA pharmacist stands in the background as a sign rests on a counter at a Walgreens pharmacy store in Austin, TX, U.S., March 26, 2018
  • Walgreens paid $US7.5 million to settle a complaint from the Alameda County District Attorney that alleged one of its pharmacists worked for over a decade without a licence in multiple pharmacies around the Bay Area.
  • The DA alleges that Walgreens failed to properly vet the former employee, Kim Thien Le, when it promoted her to positions that required a licence.
  • Walgreens said Le has not been employed at the company since 2017 and that it has since verified all of its pharmacists across the country.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Walgreens paid $US7.5 million to settle a complaint alleging one of its employees pretended to be a licensed pharmacist for over a decade while working at multiple Walgreens pharmacies around the Bay Area, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced.

The Associated Press reported the settlement on Monday.

Walgreens was accused of promoting former employee Kim Thien Le to positions requiring a licence without vetting her credentials properly, the Alameda County DA’s office said in a statement.

“This case serves as a cautionary tale for every health care provider that hires people into positions requiring a professional licence,” O’Malley said in the statement.

Le is alleged to have filled over 745,000 prescriptions, including over 100,00 prescriptions for controlled substances, the DA’s office said. She also faces charges of “false personation and related felonies” by the California Attorney General.

Walgreens said in a statement to Business Insider that Le has not been employed at the company since October 2017, and that the company has since verified the licenses of all of its pharmacists across the country.

“Pharmacy quality and safety are top priorities, and upon learning of this issue, we undertook a re-verification of the licenses of all our pharmacists nationwide,” a Walgreens spokesperson said.

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