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Koster Sues Walgreens, Claims Chain is “Stealing from Sick People”

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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday the he has filed a civil lawsuit against Walgreens Co. claiming the chain is overcharging its customers. (KMOX/Kevin Killeen)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday the he has filed a civil lawsuit against Walgreens Co. claiming the chain is overcharging its customers. (KMOX/Kevin Killeen)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The state of Missouri filed a civil lawsuit against Walgreens Co. of Illinois Tuesday, accusing the nation’s largest pharmacy chain of stealing from the sick and elderly.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says Walgreens has been systematically charging customers more at the register than the advertised shelf price.

“This is not sloppiness, this is a business practice,” Koster said.

The complaint comes from a two-month long investigation by the Attorney General’s office.

In the undercover operation agents went to eight random Walgreens stores in five cities across Missouri in June and July, where investigators bought various items.

They discovered that nearly every stores visited had pricing discrepancies. Overall, investigators found nearly 43 price discrepancies out of 205 purchased products, resulting in overcharges nearly 21 percent of the time.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday in the Jackson County Circuit Court, Walgreens also offered a rewards membership program promising prices reductions of savings at the register, but investigators did not always receive the savings as advertised.

“This has gotten underneath my skin and Walgreens has ended up on my to do list,” Koster said. “Consumers have a right to expect the price they will play at the register is the same as the price displayed on the shelf.”

Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office visited Walgreens locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City and Osage Beach.

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