Five drug companies have agreed to pay Louisiana $18.6 million in settlements over allegations they fraudulently inflated Medicaid program prescription drug costs, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced Wednesday.
The companies with amounts to be paid are: Bristol Myers Squibb, $7.2 million; Mylan, $5 million; Hoffman-LaRoche, $4.08 million; Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, $1.4 million; and Shionogi Inc., $1 million.
The settlements stem from a lawsuit involving 109 companies accused of improperly reporting drug price information in order to increase reimbursements paid through Louisiana’s Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.
The Attorney General’s Office has obtained $83.8 million in settlements from 18 pharmaceutical companies since February, including the new agreements, according to a news release issued by Caldwell’s office.
Caldwell predicted that “millions more will be recovered” from pharmaceutical companies whose business practices have led the Louisiana Medicaid program “to grossly over-pay for various drug prescriptions.”
Funds recovered as a result of the litigation will be returned to Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
The state Department of Health and Hospitals then “promptly” returns the federal portion based on the Medicaid reimbursement rate at the time of the incident, DHH spokeswoman Meghan Speakes said. The federal government generally pays 70 percent.
Caldwell’s office filed the lawsuit in 2010 in the case of state of Louisiana v. Abbott Laboratories and the related state of Louisiana v. McKesson Corporation case filed last year.
The lawsuit accused the defendants of committing fraud and violating the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, and Louisiana’s Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law.
The lawsuit is scheduled for trial next year before 19th Judicial District Court Judge Wilson Fields.
The suit seeks to recover amounts that Louisiana Medicaid has allegedly overpaid for prescription drugs, including pharmacy-dispensed drugs and co-payments for drugs covered by Medicaid.
The suit claims some of the alleged fraudulent conduct goes back more than a decade.