On June 16th, we will try the next round of Alabama’s lawsuits against more than 70 pharmaceutical companies for overcharging the state’s Medicaid program. That trial will be against Novartis Pharmaceuticals and SmithKline Beecham Corp. It had been scheduled for April 7th, but was continued by Judge Charles Price, awaiting a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court. These two defendants had filed a petition seeking to have each company tried separately. An order came out from the Court on April 18th which will allow the trial in June to proceed against both companies, which was good news for the state.
As you know, in the first trial in February, a Montgomery County jury awarded the state $215 million in the case against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. That case was based on fraudulent conduct, which is essentially the same as the conduct of Novartis and GlasoSmithKline. Judge Price has scheduled the state’s case against another pharmaceutical company, Bristol Myers Squibb, for trial on August 4th. We will continue to get these cases ready for trial. Judge Price has indicated that he will assign other cases to different judges in the near future.
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