By Globe Staff
International drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has agreed to pay the state’s Medicaid program $9.2 million to settle a variety of allegations of improper sales, marketing, and other business practices, the attorney general’s office said this morning.
“The Massachusetts Medicaid program expects health care providers, both large and small, to operate with honesty and integrity,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. “Our office will continue to work with our partners in state and federal law enforcement to identify and eliminate fraudulent marketing and pricing schemes that drain tax dollars from an already overburdened health care system.”
The agreement comes after a four-part, seven-year investigation that began in 2001, the attorney general’s office said. The probe was coordinated with the federal government and other state attorneys general.
Among the allegations: that the company and a subsidiary paid “improper inducements” to pharmacies and wholesalers to increase the market share of its products and that it instructed its sales staff to promote the use of an antipsychotic drug for children when the drug had not been approved by the FDA for use by children.
The US Department of Justice announced the federal component of the settlement in September. The total value of federal and state settlements to Medicaid programs nationwide is about $389 million, the attorney general’s office said.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb is pleased to have resolved these matters from the past and is proud of its commitment to conduct business with the highest standards of integrity in its mission to extend and enhance human life,” company spokeswoman Laura Hortas said, reading a statement.