An executive of Walgreen Co. abused his position as the Indiana Board of Pharmacy (IBOP) President to help gain approval for a controversial Walgreens pharmacy model called “Well Experience,” an ethics complaint filed today alleges.
Change to Win (CtW) Retail Initiatives and Common Cause Indiana filed the complaint with the Office of the Inspector General. The watchdog groups charge that Ethics Code violations by Walgreens Manager of Pharmacy Affairs Bill Cover and pharmacy board staff corrupted the regulatory process and led to the board approving a pharmacy format that creates risks to public health and patient privacy.
Indiana law prohibits state appointees from participating in decisions in which they or their employer have a financial stake in the outcome. Heavily redacted e-mails obtained through the state’s Access to Public Records Act show that Cover was central to the Board’s Well Experience decision-making process and that he used his position on the board to secure special privileges for Walgreens.
The e-mails illustrate inappropriate involvement in the approval process including: Cover’s collaboration with IBOP staff to provide information from Walgreens to other board members; his deliberation on regulatory issues regarding Well Experience with the board’s executive director; and his solicitation of board members’ concerns before any public discussion about Well Experience.
According to the complaint, Cover and the board improperly kept the approval process from public view. The board held secret meetings with Walgreens management in Illinois deliberately arranged to circumvent Indiana laws requiring open meetings.