AUSTIN — Astra Zeneca has agreed to pay the state of Texas $100 million to settle lawsuits which allege the pharmaceutical company violated the state's Medicaid Fraud and Prevention Act by falsely marketing some of its drugs.
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Astra Zeneca, which was under a 2010 federal corporate integrity agreement prohibiting the company from promoting two of its powerful drugs to Texas Medicaid providers, continued to promote the drugs for non-FDA approved uses.
The attorney general says Astra Zeneca promoted its anti-psychotic drug seroquel and its statin crestor to Texas Medicaid for non-approved uses while downplaying the drugs' significant risks, the Attorney General's Office said.
“Texas leads the country in protecting its Medicaid system from pharmaceutical fraud,” Paxton said in a statement. “The allegations that led to this settlement are especially disturbing because the well-being of children and the integrity of the state hospital system were jeopardized."
The lawsuits stemmed from an Paxton's office's investigation based on information from a whistleblower who was a former Astra Zeneca employee.