NEW MEXICO GETS NEARLY $1.3 MILLION FROM ABILIFY SCAM

States News Service
NEW MEXICO GETS NEARLY $1.3 MILLION IN PHARMACEUTICAL LAWSUIT …BRISTOL-MEYERS SQUIBB
RESOLVES PRICING AND MARKETING ALLEGATIONS

The following information was released by the office of the New Mexico Attorney General:

The National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units today announced that 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government settled with Bristol- Myers Squibb Company

(BMS) and its former wholly owned subsidiary Apothecon, Inc., to resolve allegations of illegal drug marketing and pricing of prescription medications paid by the participating states Medicaid programs and other federal health care programs.

The State of New Mexico will receive $1,290,910.26 of the settlement amount. The settlement addresses a number of improper marketing and pricing practices, including:

– Reporting inflated prices for various prescription drugs knowing that Medicaid and various federal health care programs would use these reported prices to pay for BMS and Apothecon products used by their recipients;

– Paying illegal remuneration to physicians, health care providers, and pharmacies to induce them to purchase BMS and Apothecon products;

– Promoting the sale and use of Abilify, an antipsychotic drug, for pediatric use and for treatment of dementia-related psychosis, uses which the federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved; and

– Misreporting accurate prices for Serzone, an antidepressant, resulting in the improper reduction of the amount of rebates paid to the state Medicaid programs.

The settlement reimburses the federal government and the participating states for excessive amounts paid by Medicaid programs as a result of this conduct. The total amount reimbursed to state Medicaid programs is $389 million plus interest. As part of the settlement BMS has also entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services requiring BMS to accurately report its average sales prices and average manufacturers prices in the future.

A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units represented the statesa interests in the settlement negotiations. Team members include Unit Directors from Ohio and Vermont as well as Assistant Attorneys General from Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico.

David Hughes of the Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office was a member of the national team.

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