Monday, February 18, 2008

Merck to Pay $670 Million for Medicaid Fraud

The drugmaker failed to pay the appropriate rebates to Medicaid and other goverment health care programs, and also paid kickbacks to doctors and hospitals to induce them to prescribe various meds. The allegations were brought in two separate lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. Merck has also agreed to a Corporate Integrity Agreement, which means good behavior is now required for the next five years.“Not only is the combined recovery in these two cases one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements ever achieved by the Justice Department,” says Attorney General Michael Mukasey, in a statement, “it reflects our continuing effort to hold drug companies accountable for devising pricing schemes that deliberately seek to deny federal health care programs the same lower prices for drugs that are available to other commercial customers.” Here is the statement from Merck, which signaled this deal two months ago by discussing a $670 million charge to cover investigations into Medicaid marketing….read rest of story

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