BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the recovery Wednesday of more than $238 million as part of a three-year effort against pharmaceutical companies that allegedly engaged in a fraudulent drug pricing scheme.
In the final settlements announced on Monday, 25 companies and their subsidiaries agreed to pay Louisiana approximately $88.4 million. When added to settlements previously announced over the three-year litigation period, the total amount recovered came to $238,138,268.
"We are proud to announce the recovery of over $238 million in stolen Medicaid funds - money intended to provide care for our most vulnerable citizens," Caldwell said.
In 2010, Caldwell filed a lawsuit against 109 drug manufacturers. The suit alleged the pharmaceutical companies misreported drug price information to improperly increase reimbursements paid by Louisiana's Medicaid program in violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and Consumer Protection Act and the state's Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law.
"These companies took advantage of the state and its taxpayers by fraudulently over-pricing and marketing prescription drugs, thereby forcing the state's Medicaid program to grossly over-pay for those prescriptions," Caldwell said. "This kind of success sends a clear message to companies who don't do business honestly. Louisiana is a pro-business state. If you play fair, come to Louisiana and do business on a level playing field. And if you don't, stay away or suffer the consequences."
The final round of settlements included agreements with Abbott Laboratories, Alcon, Apotex, Astellas Pharma Inc., Aventis, Bayer, Biovail, Brenn Distribution Inc., Eisai Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Forest Laboratories, Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Novartis AG, Ostuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Par Pharmaceutical, Pernix Therapeutics, Perrigo, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., Sandoz Inc., Shire plc, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc., Taro Pharmaceutical Industries and UCB.