Walgreens to settle NY attorney general probe for $500,000

Walgreens will pay $500,000 to settle the latest case of a company accused of duping New York consumers over prices.

The New York attorney general’s office said Thursday that an undercover investigation found instances cases where Walgreens used misleading advertising in its stores. It also accused the nation’s largest drugstore chain of overcharging customers.

The state regulator said Walgreens charged different prices at the register for some products compared to figures that appeared in print ads or on store shelf tags. That included tags that remained up after the advertised price had expired.

Walgreens said it has been working with the attorney general’s office for several months and receiving feedback from customers, and that has helped it make improvements in how it communicates in its stores and with advertising.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. runs about 251 Walgreens and 214 Duane Reade stores across the state.

The attorney general’s office said that, in addition to the fine, the drugstore chain agreed to remove expired shelf tags within 36 hours and conduct price checks in its stores, among other things.

Late last year, the grocer Whole Foods said it would pay New York City $500,000 to settle allegations that it overcharged customers for prepackaged foods. The city had said last June that an investigation tested 80 different types of prepackaged food at Whole Foods and found mislabeled weights on every one.

Walgreens shares fell 10 cents to $81.03 in midday trading while the Nasdaq exchange rose slightly.