As we have periodically reported in prior issues, our law firm continues to pursue AWP (Medicaid fraud) litigation for the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Utah, South Carolina, Hawaii and Alaska. This AWP (Average Wholesale Price) Litigation involves drug manufacturers cheating the states on prices charged for their drugs. Fortunately, we have successfully tried a number of these cases and we are now settling most of the remaining cases with numerous Defendants in the individual States. We are pleased to announce that the firm has recently completed the AWP cases in the States of Alabama and Hawaii and we are closing in on wrapping up the cases in South Carolina and Alaska. Our lawyers are still in full swing in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Utah and hope to wind those cases up over the next few months.
We are pleased to announce that our firm recently has obtained new settlements totaling more than $112 million during the past several months. We are in the process of finalizing those settlements for several of the eight states listed above. To date, our firm has had settlements totaling more than $800 million in the AWP litigation for the eight states we represent. Also, we have a $31 million judgment on appeal. At the time of this writing, we are awaiting a verdict in an AWP case that has been tried in Mississippi.
These recent settlements vary in amounts depending upon the states’ usage of a particular company’s drugs in the Medicaid program. These settlements involve numerous companies, but each state’s claim is negotiated separate and independent of the claims of any other State. In addition, some states require attorney’s fees and costs to be completely separate negotiations. Therefore, these settlements can sometimes be very complex and become complicated.
Our firm views the representation of the Attorneys General in each of these eight states as a great honor. It is also a tremendous responsibility to insure that the claims of each States are adequately compensated by the drug companies that have falsely reported prices to the states’ Medicaid Programs. These cases have proven to be a tremendous public service for the citizens of each of the eight States we represent. It’s never acceptable for any corporation to cheat on government contracts. That’s especially true when it comes to a state’s Medicaid program. We will continue to represent each state until it is fully compensated for the alleged wrongdoing by the pharmaceutical companies involving the States’ Medicaid Programs.
In addition to the pharmaceutical companies reporting of false prices to the Medicaid Programs, of these eight states, our firm also handled litigation against a pharmaceutical wholesaler, McKesson, which allegedly increased prices an additional five percent on some 1,900 different types of drugs during a given time period that was within the same timeframe as the pharmaceutical companies were reporting false prices. We have settled with McKesson in the States of Kansas, Louisiana, Alaska and Hawaii. As is evident, the above-listed Medicaid Programs for these states were taken advantage of on the prices being reported by the pharmaceutical industry, and by some wholesalers, during the time periods from 1991-2010. As we have previously reported, these cases are just one example of why health care costs are spiraling out of control in this country. We believe these cases are a huge step in the right direction toward curing the abuse of inflated costs that we all must pay for in the health care industry.
At the moment, there is a flurry of settlement activity occurring in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, and Kansas, where the bulk of the cases remain pending. Because of the favorable litigation history of these AWP cases, the trial courts are getting involved in pushing the parties to settle these cases, which has proven to be successful. We currently have AWP trials set in October 2013 and another five cases set for trial calendar 2014.
Our firm has had a number of lawyers working on the AWP litigation. In addition to Dee Miles, who has led the effort, those lawyers include Clay Barnett, Alison Hawthorne, Roman Shaul and Chad Stewart. We will keep our reader’s posted on any new developments that occur with this litigation by way of settlement or verdicts. In the meanwhile if you need any information on the AWP litigation, contact Dee Miles, who heads up our firm’s Consumer Fraud section. You can contact Dee at 1-800-898-2034 or by email at Dee.Miles@beasleyallen.com.
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