The State of Hawaii has filed suit against McKesson Corporation and First DataBank, Inc., as part of an ongoing effort to recover for prescription drug overcharges to the State. The State’s previous related lawsuit had recovered more than $82 million for the State from prescription drug manufacturers. Defendant McKesson Corporation is a wholesaler of pharmaceutical products. Defendant First DataBank, Inc, compiles and publishes pricing information regarding pharmaceutical products. This information is used by Hawaii’s Medicaid program, among others. Attorney General Mark Bennett made the announcement of the latest lawsuit filling.
The Defendants violated various statutes and common law in connection with the reporting and publication of average wholesale prices for certain brand-name pharmaceutical products. The Defendants entered into a scheme to inflate, and in fact inflated, the AWPs published by First DataBank for certain brand-name pharmaceutical products, despite there being no increase in the actual prices retail providers paid to acquire them. As an intended consequence of the scheme, the State overpaid Medicaid providers when reimbursing them based on these inflated AWPs. Attorney General Bennett said:
Manipulation of average wholesale prices has cost Hawaii and the federal government millions of dollars. We are bringing this second phase of this litigation as part of an ongoing effort to recover overcharges and restore transparency and fairness. The first phase of the litigation, against the drug manufacturers, was very successful, and this second phase of the litigation continues our efforts.
Lillian Koller, Director of the Department of Human Services, said that “the State and federal government have overpaid for Medicaid prescription drugs. We bring this lawsuit to continue our efforts to protect taxpayers and the integrity of our Medicaid program.” Our firm, along with the Miner Barnhill law firm of Chicago, Illinois, and the Price Okamoto law firm in Hawaii, joined with Attorney General Bennett in filing the lawsuit. Dee Miles, Roman Shaul, and Alison Douillard, lawyers from our firm, will be involved in this litigation. We are honored to have been selected to work with the Attorney General on this important case.
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