Efforts of feds, three states lead to $124M in settlements

John O'Brien Oct. 19, 2009, 4:00pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - State Medicaid programs will benefit from $124 million in settlements reached by the U.S. Government and four pharmaceutical companies.

The Department of Justice brought the lawsuits against AstraZeneca, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, UDL Laboratories and Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals for allegedly failing to pay appropriate rebates to state Medicaid programs, which are largely funded by the federal government.

Ven-A-Care, a whistleblower company that notified authorities of the alleged actions, will receive more than $10 million.

The attorneys general of New York, New Hampshire and Ohio assisted with the investigation, conducted by federal prosecutors in the state and the Office of Investigations of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Companies that do not properly honor their repayment obligations to our Medicaid programs are violating the law and end up increasing the burden on taxpayers," said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose state will receive more than $18 million.

"This settlement brings money that was underpaid by these companies back to New York state. I applaud our multi-state partners and the federal government with whom we worked together to make sure the Medicaid program is accurately reimbursed."

Mylan and UDL are paying the bulk of the settlement -- $118 million. Of that, nearly $50 million will go to states. Mylan owns UDL.

AstraZeneca paid $2.6 million and Ortho McNeil $3.4 million.

"These settlements are the culmination of several years of hard work on the part of the government's investigators and attorneys," said John P. Kacavas, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire.

"The settlement with Mylan and UDL is the largest health care fraud recovery that the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire has ever obtained. The settlements show that the government is committed to identifying health care fraud and ensuring that companies that benefit from doing business with the government agree to play by the rules."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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