Connecticut will receive $15 million under a settlement with McKesson Corporation, a pharmaceutical distributor, for artificially inflating drug costs incurred by consumers and state-funded health care programs in that state. The inflated costs affected over 400 brand name drugs, including Allegra, Asmacort, Celebrex, Flonase, Lipitor, Neurontin, Nexium, Prevacid and Valium.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sued McKesson for allegedly conspiring to inflate the average wholesale prices (AWP) for pharmaceuticals — creating a larger “spread” between the cost by the state Medicaid program and the actual charges to health care providers, such as physicians and pharmacies. McKesson’s practices gave windfall profits to its pharmacy customers, which increased McKesson’s market share at the expense of state taxpayers and consumers. The victims of this scheme, according to the Attorney General, included patients and taxpayers in Connecticut who relied on these drugs to treat asthma, allergies, pain, arthritis and cholesterol.
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