Indiana gets $9.2M in Wyeth Medicaid fraud settlement

Indiana’s Medicaid program will recoup $9.2 million from a drugmaker that underpaid rebates the state was owed for prescription drugs, Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s officer said in a news release Friday.

The money is Indiana’s share of a $784.6 million settlement 34 other states reached with Wyeth,Inc., and its parent company, Pfizer Inc. Including federal tax dollars that partially support Medicaid, the settlement in principle is more than $25 million, according to the AG’s office.

The settlement arises from federal whistleblower suits alleging Wyeth understated the amount of rebates due states that purchased Protonix pills or IVs supplied to hospitals to treat ulcers, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal conditions. The alleged fraud was said to have occurred between 2001 and 2006.

“This settlement represents the culmination of nearly seven years of hard-fought litigation. Medicaid is a program funded by taxpayers’ money that covers medical care and prescription drugs for low-income Hoosiers. When a business cheats Medicaid into paying more than should be paid for drugs, then my office will hold them accountable,” Zoeller said.  

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit participated in the investigation and settlement negotiations. Wyeth does not admit legal wrongdoing, but the $784.6 million in settlement payments will resolve the lawsuits, the AG’s office said.

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