The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc. (Roxane), a Columbus, Ohio-based drug manufacturer, in a False Claims Act case. Under the agreement, Roxane will pay the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, $1.8 million to resolve the lawsuit which is pending in a Boston federal court.
Roxane is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ridgefield, Connecticut-based Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation. Attorney General Martha Coakley had this to say regarding the settlement:
Drug company price reporting is a national and industry-wide problem that the Commonwealth, as well as other states and the federal government, continues to address. Our office will continue to work with the state’s Medicaid program, other law enforcement agencies and the federal government to ensure that Medicaid payments are based upon accurate information.
Roxane is one of 13 generic drug manufacturers the Commonwealth sued for falsely inflating the prices it reported to national pharmaceutical price reporting services. The Commonwealth’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, like all other state Medicaid programs and many private medical plans, uses prices reported by national price reporting services to determine the amounts it will pay for drugs dispensed by pharmacies to Medicaid recipients. By reporting the inflated prices to MassHealth, the pharmaceutical companies caused the Medicaid program to pay inflated amounts for prescriptions for Medicaid recipients. As you know, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program which provides healthcare services, including prescription drugs, to low income and disabled persons.
The settlement resolves the Commonwealth’s claims related to the drugs that Roxane manufactured, including lithium carbonate, azathioprine, Roxicet, Roxicodone and ipratropium bromide. Massachusetts had previously settled with four other defendants: Dey Pharmaceuticals, Barr Laboratories, Duramed Pharmaceuticals and Ethex- recovering a total of $5.675 million from those companies. The case against the remaining eight defendants is still pending. Our firm’s lawsuit on behalf of the State of Alabama against Roxane is set for trial on February 9, 2009. This case should settle, but if it doesn’t, we fully intend to let a jury hear how bad this company’s conduct has been.
Source: Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General Press Release
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