The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

September 16, 2013

Ohio attorney general charges discount drug service with unfairly debiting bank accounts

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a lawsuit charging Cincinnati-based Queen City Script Care with making unauthorized debits to consumers’ bank accounts, failing to provide refunds, and taking unfair advantage of consumers. Many victims are elderly and low-income.

“This business offered to help consumers obtain discounted prescription medication, but instead it took advantage of them,” DeWine said. “Some consumers had to close their bank accounts because the unauthorized debits would not stop. With the upcoming health care changes, we will continue to watch for businesses that make misleading claims about health care services.”

Queen City Script Care’s principal place of business is 10901 Reed Hartman Highway, Suite 319, in Blue Ash, Ohio. The business charges $30 to $41 per month to help individuals get free or discounted prescriptions through patient assistance programs, which are run by pharmaceutical companies to help eligible individuals who cannot afford their medication. Individuals can apply to patient assistance programs for free, and many nonprofits offer help for no charge.

According to the lawsuit, Queen City Script Care promised full refunds for consumers who were unable to receive medication through a patient assistant program, but many consumers never received any medication and never received a full refund. The business often debited consumers’ bank accounts multiple times per month or continued to make withdrawals after consumers canceled their contracts.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office currently has 20 unresolved complaints against the business with losses totaling $7,141.18, but additional consumers have been affected.

In the lawsuit, the Attorney General charges the business and its owners, Thomas Fenske and Theresa Fenske, with multiple violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. The Attorney General seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, civil penalties, and other costs.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.Ohio-AttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

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