HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) – Connecticut Attorney
General George Jepsen, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane and Department of
Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Roderick L Bremby announced that the state
will be a part of a global $784.6 million settlement with Wyeth over
allegations the drug maker knowingly underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid
Drug Rebate Program.
Congress enacted this program in 1990 to contain costs for
Medicaid’s payment of prescription drugs. Under the program’s rules,
manufacturers of pharmaceutical products must pay quarterly rebates to state
Medicaid programs for drugs sold to pharmacies that were reimbursed by
According to the lawsuit, Wyeth sold Protonix Oral tablets
and Protonix IV to hospitals as part of a bundled sales program. The company,
however, did not treat the sales as bundled within the meaning of the rebate program.
Rebate payments by Wyeth then purportedly ended up being much lower than they
should have been.
"Improper billing practices involving our Medicaid
program will not be tolerated," Jepsen said. "We are vigilant in
working with our federal and state law enforcement partners to identify and
prosecute fraudulent and abusive conduct, and we will continue to work to hold
accountable those who seek to defraud and overcharge our taxpayers. I thank the chief state's attorney and the Department of Social Services for their
continued partnership in these matters."
Connecticut’s state Medicaid program will receive
$4,974,747.35 as part of the settlement.