Whistleblower Reveals Alleged Drug Price Schemes to Defraud Medicaid
When drug companies hide the true prices charged for prescription drugs, the pharma companies can violate laws protecting state Medicaid programs from being defrauded by “overpaying” for drugs. The experienced Medicaid fraud prosecutors of the Texas Attorney General’s Office have announced such allegations against three pharmaceutical manufacturers for tens of millions of dollars in Medicaid fraud in Texas.
For pharmaceutical products to be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement, the law generally requires that manufacturers accurately report “generally and currently available market prices” to the Medicaid program, according to the Attorney General’s release.
The Attorney General alleges that these drug companies sold hundreds of Medicaid-covered drugs at large discounts to companies such as Wal-Mart, CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, but failed to disclose the accurate pricing information to the Medicaid program. Consequently, the state was deceived about current market prices for the drugs.
When Wal-Mart, CVS, and Walgreens sought Medicaid reimbursement for these prescription drugs, the false pricing reports caused Medicaid to overpay by millions of dollars for these drugs. Ven-a-Care, an industry whistleblower, disclosed the scheme.
The pharma companies named by the Attorney General are:
• Mylan Laboratories Inc. of Pennsylvania (with national subsidiaries Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and UDL Laboratories Inc.)
• Sandoz Inc. of New Jersey (with subsidiaries Geneva Pharmaceuticals Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Eon Labs and Apothecon Inc.)
• Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Pennsylvania (with subsidiaries Lemmon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Copley Pharmaceuticals Inc. Ivax Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sicor Pharmaceuticals Inc., Teva Novopharm Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.).
We applaud the Texas Attorney General’s Office once again for leading the fight against health care fraud.