Walgreens ordered to stop advertising free flu shots, reimburse those who were deceived
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 5:20 pm

The state attorney general says that Walgreens has been ordered to stop advertising free flu shots for state Empire Plan members and to reimburse people who were deceived.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said that Walgreens was misleading Empire Plan members into thinking they were covered for free flu shots administered at the pharmacy, when they were not, and who ended up paying out of pocket.

The settlement requires Walgreens, including St. Lawrence County stores in Potsdam, Ogdensburg and Massena, to cease advertising free flu shots for Empire Plan members and to refund payments to consumers who were forced to pay for flu shots out of their own pocket.

“By refunding customers, this settlement will ensure that Walgreens will not contribute to any consumer confusion that could negatively impact public vaccination efforts,” Schneidermann said.

As a result of the Attorney General's investigation, Walgreens will cease advertising and representing that flu vaccines administered by Walgreens are covered under the Empire Plan, which insures more than 2.5 million New York State employees, retirees and their dependents. It will review all insurance claims submitted for Empire Plan members for the period of August 15, 2010 through the present, and identify and reimburse those Empire Plan members who paid for flu shots during that time.