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 Medicaid.

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.

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