Drug company to pay Florida $6.5 million for price manipulation‏

Nick Rees Mar. 16, 2010, 3:19pm

Bill McCollum (R)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida is set to receive $6.5 million from a settlement with a pharmaceutical company over allegations of drug price manipulation, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has announced.

The $6.5 million settlement with Dey LP and Dey Inc. was negotiated by the Complex Civil Enforcement Bureau of the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The state's General Revenue fund will receive $3.3 million of the total settlement.

"This settlement means money will be coming back into the state's coffers instead of into the pockets of those perpetuating Medicaid fraud," McCollum said. "As Florida faces a very difficult budget cycle, every bit we can bring back to the state will help."

The settlement serves to resolve allegations that Dey set and reported inflated prices for Albuterol inhalants, solutions and other related products that were dispensed by pharmacies and other providers.

Dey's inflated prices were reimbursed by the Florida Medicaid Program. The prices caused the Medicaid program to overpay millions of dollars in pharmacy reimbursements. Reimbursement rates are set based upon the reported prices by drug manufacturers.

The allegations against Dey constitute violations of the Florida False Claims Act and were filed by whistleblower Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. on behalf of the state of Florida. McCollum's office investigated Ven-A-Care's claims, intervening in the lawsuit.

In addition to the $3.3 million for the state's General Revenue fund, $1.3 million from the settlement will reimburse the Agency for Health Care Administration for overcharges paid to Dey as a result of the alleged conduct and $369,000 will go to the Medicaid Fraud Informant Program, which rewards individuals who report and provide information leading to convictions for Medicaid fraud.

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