Separate lawsuits allege that both CVS and Walgreens chargedinsured customers more for generics than they would pay if theydidn’t use their insurance.

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NBC News reports that CVS Health Corporation is being chargedwith participating in a “fraudulent scheme,” in which theplaintiff, Megan Schultz, paid $165.68 for a prescription in July that would have cost$92 if she hadn’t used her insurance to pay for it.

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And the Chicago Tribune reports that David Grabstald hasfiled a proposed class-action suit against Walgreens Boots Allianceaccusing the Illinois pharmacy of “fraudulently overcharging manycustomers for generic drugs.”

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Grabstald alleges that he was charged an average of $17.74 for aprescription drug over the past two years when using his insurance,but that he would have been charged just $10 if he chose to paycash instead — something that Walgreens did not tellhim.

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Schultz’s complaint pinpoints the same problem, saying, “CVSnever told her that paying in cash would allow her to pay 45percent less for the drug; instead, CVS remained silent and tookher money — knowing full well that no reasonable consumer wouldmake such a choice.”

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Related: Study:Drug price hikes & rebates not correlated

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Both suits cite the pharmacies’ agreements with pharmacy benefitmanagers, entities that act as intermediaries between insurers andpharmacies and negotiate the prices that insurers must paypharmacies. Because the agreements over price are “confidential,”customers are ignorant of the arrangement, and according to thesuit, the “consumer pays the amount negotiated between the PBM andCVS, even if that amount exceeds the price of the drug withoutinsurance.”

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“As a result,” the report adds, “CVS can overcharge unknowingcostumers by collecting copays that exceed the pharmacists’ priceand then remit the excess payment back to the PBMs in what’s knownas ‘clawback’ payments."

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CVS released a statement denying the allegations, saying they “are built on a false premise and are completely withoutmerit.” And an e-mail response from Walgreens spokesman Phil Carusosays, “The complaint lacks merit and we will vigorously defendagainst the allegations."

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At least 16 other lawsuits have been filed over the sameissue.

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