Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Carol Steckel, chair of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, has issued a “national alert” memo to all state Medicaid agencies on the drug-pricing fraud cases filed in Alabama by Attorney General Troy King. Commissioner Steckel is urging all of her fellow Medicaid directors to follow the Alabama cases for their nationwide impact on prescription drug prices. The Commissioner has asked her peers to serve on a Task Force on Drug-Pricing Fraud Prevention. This would give the state Medicaid heads an opportunity to coordinate their efforts. Commissioner Steckel believes it’s vitally important that Congress and all state legislatures understand the various issues Alabama is facing when it comes to pharmaceutical prices.
Thus far, Alabama’s Medicaid agency has been awarded $274 million in fraud damages by juries in three cases against drug manufacturers in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Our fourth trial is scheduled for October 27th. Sixty-eight additional cases are pending. We are currently negotiating with over 25 drug companies and hopefully all of those cases will settle. Commissioner Steckel told her fellow commissioners that our Alabama cases have the strong active support of the national AARP and its 514,000 Alabama members. In my opinion, their support will prove to be invaluable to our just cause.
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