On July 15, 2009, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced a $4.5 million settlement with a pharmaceutical manufacturer accused of reporting fraudulently inflated Average Wholesale Prices, prices which caused the state’s Medicaid program to unknowingly and unnecessarily spend millions of extra dollars on prescription drugs. The settlement was reached with Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and its subsidiaries Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc., Roxane Laboratories, Inc. and Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc. The State of Kentucky filed 47 lawsuits targeting drug manufacturers for fraudulent drug price reporting practices that have cost the state’s Medicaid program millions of dollars.
State Medicaid programs rely on the prices furnished by drug manufacturers that are published to calculate Medicaid drug-reimbursement rates. The lawsuits allege the Defendants published false and inflated prices which were not reflective of the actual purchase prices pharmacies and doctors paid in the marketplace. In announcing the settlement, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway stated:
My office is committed to ensuring that drug companies truthfully report their prices and do not engage in false or misleading marketing of their products. Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for these inflated drug prices.
Previously, Attorney General Conway announced a $16 million verdict in the state’s case against drug maker Sandoz that we wrote about last month. Since January 2008, the State of Kentucky has recovered $63 million from various drug manufacturers for defrauding its Medicaid program. Kentucky is one of 27 states that have filed lawsuits against drug manufactures in the Medicaid fraud litigation which is commonly referred to as the AWP litigation.