Rite Aid pays $3 million to settle whistleblower case over gift cards used to lure customers

Federal authorities say the Rite Aid pharmacy chain has paid nearly $3 million to settle allegations that it improperly used gift cards to lure new business.

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Rite Aid Corp. settled a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles but didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing.

The government alleged that from 2008 to 2010, Rite Aid violated the False Claims Act by offering gift cards to entice Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to transfer their prescriptions to Rite Aid pharmacies.

The case was filed by a Florida pharmacist under federal whistleblower laws.

Rite Aid settled the case and made payment last month.

A statement from the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, company says it denies the allegations but is pleased to resolve the matter and avoid more litigation.