Four settle AWP allegations in Wisconsin

Nick Rees Apr. 20, 2010, 11:34am

Van Hollen

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced that an agreement has been reached with four of the 36 pharmaceutical manufacturers alleged to have defrauded the Wisconsin Medicaid program.

The companies are alleged to have reported fictitious prices. The fictitious prices were meant to deceive the Medicaid pharmaceutical reimbursement system to increase market share.

Under terms of the agreement, announced on Tuesday, four defendants - Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc., Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc., and Roxane Laboratories, Inc. - paid a total of $7.75 million to settle the state's claim. That payment consisted of $7 million in restitution to the Medicaid program and $750,000 in costs and fees for prosecution of the action.

Each of the defendants companies is alleged to have reported average wholesale prices to pricing compendia for identified drugs that were grossly inflated and not an accurate reflection of the actual average wholesale prices.

The compendia is utilized by the Medicaid program for the payment or reimbursement of pharmacists for Medicaid recipients. As a result of the defendants actions, the Medicaid program paid substantially more than the actual cost of the drugs.

"This settlement again demonstrates to anyone who attempts to defraud medical assistance programs that my office will pursue them to the fullest extent of the law and hold them accountable," Van Hollen said.

"Wisconsin's taxpayers are genuinely concerned and willing to provide for our neediest citizens. What we're not willing to do is to line the pockets of those who would engage in deceptive and fraudulent pricing activities."

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