Acadiana Business

Drug company fraud settlements rise to $84 million

by Leslie Turk

Since February of this year, the state attorney general has been securing settlements with drug companies accused of pricing fraud. On Wednesday AG Buddy Caldwell announced five more settlements of $18.6 million, bringing the yearly total to almost $84 million - all of which will be returned to the state's Medicaid program. Since early this year, attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been aggressively pursuing drug companies he claims are fraudulently reporting drug price information to the state's Medicaid program. To date, he has recovered nearly $84 million, including settlements of $18.6 million announced Wednesday with five more companies. The most recent settlements bring the total number of defendant pharmaceutical companies involved to 18.

In announcing the latest round of settlements, Caldwell said the fraudulent overpricing and marketing of prescription drugs has caused the Louisiana Medicaid program to grossly over pay for various drug prescriptions. "We want drug companies who do business with the state's Medicaid program to know that we will hold them accountable for their actions," he said.

The AG said pursuing the recovery of taxpayer-funded Medicaid program dollars is a priority for his office. Through various court challenges, he has recovered more than $194 million since taking office in 2008.

Below are the five companies who will pay the state of Louisiana a combined $18.6 million:

Bristol Myers Squibb                     
$7.2 million

$5 million

$4.08 million

Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals
$1.4 million

Shionogi Inc.                   
$1 million