By Jennifer Bjorhus
Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is paying Minnesota $4.35 million to settle allegations of Medicaid fraud, the state Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday.
The Minnesota payment is part of a $515 million settlement the U.S. Department of Justice reached with New York-based Bristol-Myers last fall regarding Medicaid overpayments, the company said. Minnesota joined the settlement along with 42 other states.
The settlement resolved allegations that between the 1990s and 2005 Bristol-Myers and its former subsidiary Apothecon Inc. inflated prices for various prescription drugs covered by Medicaid, bribed doctors and health care providers to buy products and promoted using an antipsychotic drug called Abilify to treat children and dementia-related psychosis, which are uses the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved. The company was also accused of misreporting sales of an antidepressant called Serzone.