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RITE AID ACCUSED OF OVERCHARGING
FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN FLORIDA

Rite Aid Corp. purposefully overcharged tens of thousands of customers in Florida who bought prescription drugs between 1989 and 1996, according to a racketeering lawsuit filed Wednesday by the state.

Rite Aid pharmacists in Florida had a key programmed into their cash registers to let them automatically overcharge customers, according to the lawsuit filed in Circuit Court.

More than 80,000 purchases cost more than they were supposed to, said Joe Bizzaro, spokesman for Attorney General Bob Butterworth. Details on how much the alleged scheme cost consumers were not immediately availble.

Rite Aid, the nation's third-largest drugstore chain, had about 30 drugstores in Florida during the period covered by the allegations. But Bizzaro said he did not think that the company had any stores currently operating in the state.

A spokesman for Rite Aid, based in Camp Hill, Pa., could not be reached to comment Wednesday evening.

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