Mass. to receive $4.25 million as part of settlement over misreported nasal spray prices‏

By Nick Rees | Nov 24, 2009

Martha Coakley (D)

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - An international drug company has agreed to pay $4.25 million to the Massachusetts Medicaid Program to resolve allegations that it knowingly misreported best prices for Azmacort, Nasacort and Nasacort AQ, which are steroid-based anti-inflammatory nasal sprays.

Aventis, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Avenutis U.S., LLC, was required, under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Statute, to report to Medicaid the lowest or "best" price that it charged commercial customers. The company was then required to pay quarterly rebates tot he Medicaid program based on those reported prices.

"This is a significant recovery for the Massachusetts Medicaid Program," Attorney General Martha Coakley said. "Aventis underpaid their rebates and overcharged the states for these products. This conduct will not be tolerated, and we will vigilantly enforce the law to maintain the integrity of our Medicaid program."

Aventis' parent company, Sanofi-Aventis, has also entered into an addendum to a corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the settlement. Under that addendum, sanofi-aventis is required to report certain best price information for drugs that are covered by Medicaid and other health care programs.

The parent company was already under one corporate integrity agreement that required it to report other pricing information to the government. That agreement stemmed from a drug pricing settlement concerning the drug company's Anzemet drug.

In total, Aventis will return $95.5 million in federal and state money to Medicaid programs across the country to settle the allegations of misreported prices. Coakley's office served as lead representative and negotiator for all of the states involved in the multi-state agreement.

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