Shaun Zinck Jun. 23, 2015, 1:21pm


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said the state will receive about $12,000 as a result of a federal settlement with a pharmaceutical company to resolve allegations that the company illegally marketed one of its drugs.

The settlement is with Inspire Pharmaceuticals, which is headquartered in Illinois, and is with Kentucky, 48 other attorneys general and the federal government. The government claimed the business violated the False Claims Act, and cause doctors to write out prescriptions for its drug AzaSite that wasn't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The prescriptions allegedly resulted in millions of dollars in false claims being paid by Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs. The FDA approved the drug to treat pink eye, however, the company marketed the drug to treat inflammation of eyelash follicles.

The total settlement is for $6 million, and Kentucky's Medicaid share is about $51,456. About $39,353 of that is the federal share, which leaves the state about $12,100.

“Patients have a right to trust they are being prescribed properly tested and effective medicine,” Conway said. “Pharmaceutical companies like Inspire will not be permitted to skirt FDA rules and regulations to make a profit at the expense of patients. These FDA rules are enforced to ensure patients are only prescribed drugs that are proven to benefit the patient.”

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