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Zoeller: Indiana to get $6.3 million in drug-maker settlement

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Indiana will receive more than $6.3 million as part of a national Medicaid fraud settlement with drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement Monday.

The $2 billion national settlement is the largest recovery in a healthcare fraud investigation in U.S. history, according to the AG’s office. The civil settlement stems from allegations that GSK wrongly billed the state’s Medicaid program for ineligible claims and for illegal drug marketing practices brought to light by four whistle-blower lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act.

Zoeller said the settlement “sends a powerful message that state governments and our federal partners will not tolerate overbilling and wrongful billing of Medicaid.”

In addition to the civil settlement, GSK agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 billion fine to settle federal criminal charges that it violated the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The charges alleged GSK introduced Wellbutrin and Paxil into interstate commerce when the drugs were misbranded, meaning they contained labels not in accordance with their Food and Drug Administration approvals, and that GSK failed to report certain clinical data regarding Avandia to the FDA, the AG’s office said.

The whistle-blower suits that resulted in the civil settlement alleged GSK illegally used “off-label” marketing of its antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin, the respiratory drug Advair, the anti-seizure drug Lamictal and the anti-nausea drug Zofran to induce physicians to prescribe them for uses not approved by the FDA, according to the AG’s office.

The suits also alleged GSK offered illegal kickbacks for promoting and prescribing those drugs as well as four other GSK products – Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex.

The settlement also resolves allegations that GSK failed to comply with federal “best price” requirements for drug reimbursements by underpaying rebates to state Medicaid programs, according to the AG’s office. GSK agreed to pay $300 million in the national settlement, from which Indiana Medicaid will receive $1.22 million.

Money the state recovers through the civil settlement will go back into the Indiana Medicaid program and pay for investigations of other providers. Zoeller said whistle-blowers are entitled to about $245,000 of Indiana’s portion of the recovery and a portion of the national award not yet calculated.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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