$7.1 million given to Virginia in Abilify Scam

Roanoke Times
By Sarah Bruyn Jones

Virginia has received nearly $7.1 million from Bristol-Meyers Squibb as part of a larger multistate settlement over allegations of Medicaid fraud and illegal kickbacks.

The state received $4.2 million July 15 and transferred it to the Department of Medical Assistance Services, which administers Medicaid for the state, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. The remainder of the money is the federal government’s share of the settlement involving Virginia.

Virginia is one of 43 states to get a piece of the $389 million settlement to compensate Medicaid programs that were overcharged for prescriptions.

The states and the Department of Justice accused the drug company of inflating prices to get more money out of Medicaid programs, and illegally paying physicians and pharmacies to use its products. Additionally, the government accused the company’s former subsidiary Apothecon Inc. of promoting the unapproved use of the antipsychotic drug Abilify for pediatric use and for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis in the elderly. Abilify was approved last year for teen use.

While individual payments to the states are just now rolling in, the settlement was announced by the Justice Department in September.

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