Corbett gets $5.2M from Japanese company

Keith Loria Jan. 18, 2011, 10:51am


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced on Friday that his office has recovered over $5.2 million from a Japanese pharmaceutical company that allegedly illegally inflated drug prices.

TAP Pharmaceutical Products, now known as Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, allegedly artificially increased the prices on its drugs, causing government and state agencies to pay higher prices than they should have.

The recovered money will be given back to the state agencies and government benefit programs that paid the allegedly higher prices, including $2,360,996 for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, $1,920,048 for the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly and $959,753 for the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund.

In 2004, Corbett's office filed 15 lawsuits against major drug companies and their subsidiaries for allegedly taking part in a scheme that created a "spread" between actual wholesale prices and the AWP. In doing so, the companies allegedly provided an unfair financial incentive for doctors to prescribe or stock various drugs.

Corbett's office has secured court rulings or settlements for more than $116 million for various state agencies and programs as the result of these lawsuits.

The latest case involved New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson Inc., which was found liable for nearly $52 million in damages and civil penalties for misrepresenting the prices of its drugs.

Corbett has also received settlements from numerous other pharmaceutical companies accused of similar price activity, including a $10 million agreement with Astra Zeneca, of Wayne, Pa.; $6.95 million from the Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories; $1.8 million from GlaxoSmithKline of Philadelphia; and a $13 million collective settlement with Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Deerfield, Ill., and Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane of Ridgefield, Conn.

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