Florida gets $7 million slice of Medicaid settlement pie

By Nick Rees | Oct 21, 2009


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - The state of Florida will receive more than $7 million as part of a settlement with four drug companies that failed to pay appropriate rebates for drugs paid for by Medicaid, the state's attorney general has announced.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and UDL Laboratories Inc., will pay the state more than $7 million, with more than $101,000 of the payment going to the state's Medicaid Fraud Informant Reward Program.

The Florida General Revenue Fund will receive approximately $914,000 of the settlement. Nearly $2.2 million of the settlement is earmarked for return to Florida's federal Medicaid program.

The payments come as part of a $124 million settlement between the drug companies, numerous states and the federal government.

The four drug companies are alleged to have knowingly made false statements between 1998 and 2005 about such prescription drugs as Albuterol, Dermatop and Nifedipine. The false statements led to a substantial discount in required rebates the companies were meant to pay to the Florida Medicaid program.

Drug companies participating in the Medicaid drug rebate program are required to report their drugs as either "innovators" or "non-innovators," according to a release from Attorney General Bill McCollum's office.

The four companies are alleged to have misrepresented their drugs as non-innovators to improperly receive a substantial discount in required rebate payments.

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