Province slaps Costco with multi-million dollar fine

Accused of accepting kickbacks from drug manufacturer

Costco has been fined $7M by the Ontario government over alleged kickbacks at 29 pharmacies across the province.

The Ministry of Health claims the retailer received illegal advertising payments that violated its terms for accepting rebates.

The government prohibits a pharmacy from accepting rebates from a drug manufacturer that has a product listed on the provincial drug database.

Ministry officials say Costco has co-operated fully with the investigation.

In fact, it was Costco that approached the ministry about the legality of the payments.