Walgreens settles for $7.5M after employee charged with impersonating pharmacist

Walgreens has settled for $7.5 million with California authorities after a woman was charged with impersonating a pharmacist at the store and illegally filling more than half a million prescriptions.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the settlement comes after district attorneys in two California counties filed consumer protection actions against the company in response to criminal charges against Kim Thien Le, who worked for the company between 2006 and 2017 and filled prescriptions for numerous drugs, including opioid medications.

Le has reportedly pleaded not guilty to felony impersonation charges in the state, while the company told the AP that it took steps to reverify that its pharmacists were properly certified nationwide following the charges.

“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,” Walgreens said.

Alameda County’s district attorney warned in a statement obtained by The Mercury News on Monday that companies were required to ensure that their employees had proper certifications for pharmaceutical work.

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

“The burden is on the company to make sure its employees are properly licensed and to complete a thorough background check. My office will be vigilant in protecting consumers and enforcing licensing laws,” she added.


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