Rite Aid is facing a nationwide class action lawsuit claiming the drug store chain artificially inflates prices for certain generic prescription drugs.
Plaintiff Robert Josten filed this Rite Aid class action lawsuit in California federal court in late January. Josten, who purchased generic versions of medications for personal use between 2014 and the present and has federal health insurance through Medicare and Medicare Advantage, says he was grossly overcharged for generic prescription drugs included in Rite Aid’s discount generic drug program known as the Rx Savings Program.
Specifically, Josten alleges that even though the generic prescriptions he purchased at Rite Aid were on the list of drugs on the RSP formulary, at no point was he made aware that these prescription drugs were less than the amount Rite Aid submitted to his insurance. Moreover, Josten asserts that because his insurance covered the drugs he purchased, he had no reason to investigate if he could get his generic prescriptions filled at a lower price.
According to the 47-page complaint, Rite Aid overcharged Josten and other similarly situated consumers, on the purchased of certain generic prescription drugs on the RSP list. The Rite Aid class action lawsuit states that Rite Aid is lawfully required to charge cash-paying consumers an amount that does not exceed the “usual & customary price” or U&C price. Cash-paying customers are those that pay for the drugs themselves instead of using insurance.
“For these sales, Rite Aid knowingly based Plaintiff’s payment on a purported U&C price that was fraudulently inflated above Rite Aid’s true U&C price – that is, the price Rite Aid offers under its RSP program.”
Josten claims that because he pays premiums for health insurance with prescription benefits coverage and is enrolled in Medicare, he was under the impression he would pay at least the same as, and not more than, a cash-paying customer for his prescriptions at Rite-Aid. The Rite Aid class action lawsuit goes on to allege that as a result of this fraudulent pricing scheme, Rite Aid overcharged Josten by at least $18.68. He hopes to hold Rite Aid responsible for its alleged wrongful conduct and decision to deceive its pharmacy customers, calling their actions “unfair and unconscionable”.
Indeed, if these class action allegations are proven to be true, Rite Aid could be held responsible for violating federal and state regulations, including the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Manual, which defines the U&C price as “the price that an out-of-network pharmacy or physician’s office charges a customer who does not have any form of prescription drug coverage for covered Part D drug.”
Josten is seeking to represent a nationwide Class of persons who purchased generic prescription drugs that Rite Aid included in its RSP formulary as well as a California subclass. The Rite Aid lawsuit is asking for the court to award compensatory, consequential, general damages and more, as well as impose an order of restitution for all earnings, profits, compensation, and benefits as a result of Rite Aid’s scheme to overcharge customers for generic prescription drugs.
Josten and the proposed Classes are represented by Walter W. Noss, Joseph P. Guglielmo, and Erin Green Comite of Scott+Scott, Attorneys at Law LLP.
The Rite Aid Generic Prescription Drug Prices Class Action Lawsuit is Robert Josten, et al. v. Rite Aid Corporation, Case No. 3:18-cv-00152-JLS-JLB, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.