Pharmaceutical company settles with Rhode Island for $600,000+

Providence Journal
Brandie Jefferson

The state has received a settlement from a New York-based pharmaceutical company accused of inflating prices and paying doctors and pharmacies to use their products.

Bristol-Myers Squibb paid Rhode Island $628,071 as part of a $389 million settlement paid out to 42 states and Washington D.C., according Berryl Kenyon, spokeswoman for the Attorney General.

The money will go to the Department of Human Services, Kenyon said, because that is the department that administers Medicaid.

Bristol-Myers Squibb was also accused of promoting its antipsychotic drug, Abilify, for pediatric use and for dementia-related psychosis — uses which the federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved.

The company did not admit liability when it settled in November of last year.

The full Rhode Island settlement totaled $1,343,850; the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit recovered $628,071 and the remainder of the money was paid to the federal government, as per the settlement agreement.

In the settlement agreement, the the states accuse Bristol Myers Squibb of paying pharmacies and doctors with things such as trade show payments, free goods, consulting fees and other valuable incentives.

The company is also accused of promoting its drug Abilify for patients younger than 18 and for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Although doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs for “off-label” uses, drug companies are not allowed to market drugs for conditions other than those approved by the FDA,

On several occasions, Bristol Myers Squibb is accused of reporting inflated prices then recouping the difference when Medicaid reimbursed its patients.


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