Kentucky Attorney General Announces Settlement With Sanofi-Aventis

The state has recovered another $2.29 million on behalf of its Medicaid program regarding claims of fraudulent pricing practices.

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that he has recovered another $2.29 million on behalf of the Kentucky Medicaid program following a settlement with Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Aventis Behring, LLC, also known as ZLB Behring, Inc. Both drug companies are now owned by Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC. This is the latest in a number of settlements in so-called Average Wholesale Price (AWP) lawsuits filed by the Office of the Attorney General against 47 of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies.

The AWP lawsuits filed by the Attorney General allege that defendant drug companies published false, inflated and deceptive AWPs for their drugs, which did not bear any relationship to the prices actually charged.

"Because the Kentucky Medicaid program relied on published AWPs to calculate Medicaid drug reimbursement rates, it paid millions of dollars more for the defendants' drugs," General Conway said. "I am pleased that we've been able to recover this money for this vital state program and for Kentucky taxpayers."

Sanofi-Aventis manufactures brand drugs, including the popular drugs Allegra and Nasacort (allergic rhinitis), and Azmacort and Slobid (asthma).

This is one of 17 settlements reached between Attorney General Conway's office and pharmaceutical companies over inflated AWPs. The Attorney General also won three favorable verdicts involving AWP cases against AstraZeneca, Sandoz, and GSK . AstraZeneca and Sandoz appealed the verdicts against them. Those cases were argued in April and are pending before the Court of Appeals. GSK ultimately settled its case with the Attorney General for $3.75 million.

Since Attorney General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded nearly $235 million for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.

The Attorney General's Tip Line for reporting allegations of Medicaid fraud is 1-877-228-7384.

Source: Targeted News Service
 

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