Kentucky will receive about $77,000 from a $60 million national settlement with a health group over allegations the group received kickbacks for recommending a specific drug for Medicaid patients, said Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
Conway made the announcement on Thursday that Accredo Health Group will pay $60 million to the United States and more than 40 states. About $324,034 is from Kentucky Medicaid, but after repaying federal funds the state will receive $77,150.
Accredo Health Group is accused of getting kickbacks from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation for recommending the drug Exjade to Medicaid patients.
“Patients have a right to unbiased information from their pharmacy about their medications,” Conway said. “Drug companies like Novartis and pharmaceutical distributors like Accredo Health Group will not be permitted to violate anti-kickback laws. These laws are enforced to ensure patients are only prescribed drugs which benefit the patient.”
Novartis created the scheme in which it would pay kickbacks to pharmacies that kept patients on Exjade by giving it more prescription referrals. The drug is meant to treat chronic iron overload from blood transfusions, and many patients stopped taking the drug due to the side effects.
Early last year BioScrip Inc., another pharmacy, agreed to pay $15 million for similar claims, and Kentucky received about $5,800 in the settlement.