AstraZeneca, Teva Reach Deal With States In Medicaid Pricing Case

An AstraZeneca sign. Photo by REUTERS/Phil Noble

Drugmakers AstraZeneca Plc and Cephalon, a unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, reached a multistate accord on Nov. 4 over civil charges they overbilled state Medicaid programs, the New York Attorney General announced.

The settlement with the states comes after the U.S. Justice Department settled parallel civil charges with both companies in July.

The $54 million to be collectively paid was previously announced by the Justice Department. Of that amount, AstraZeneca is responsible for $46.5 million and Cephalon for $7.5 million.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Nov. 4 the New York State Medicaid Program will collect nearly $7.5 million from AstraZeneca and a little more than $996,000 from Cephalon as part of the deal.

“Many New Yorkers rely on Medicaid for essential health care services, and when companies overcharge Medicaid, it harms taxpayers and patients alike,” he said in a statement.

Drug manufacturers are required to pay quarterly rebates to state Medicaid programs that provide coverage for the cost of the drugs. The rebates are based on the average manufacturer's price.

Higher average prices generally translate into higher rebates.

The federal government and the states alleged AstraZeneca and Cephalon treated certain fees to wholesalers as "discounts," effectively discounting the average manufacturer's price reported to the government and thereby lowering the rebates they were required to pay.

The settlement with AstraZeneca covered all 50 states, while Cephalon covered most states.

The case was triggered by Ronald Streck, a whistleblower who filed complaints in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Editing by Eric Walsh and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Dad Receives Coded Text Message From Son, Rushes To Help Him

In the middle of the night, West Virginia father Bert Fulks received a text message with only the letter "X" from his teenage son. Immediately, he sprung into action, calling his son to tell him that he will be there in five minutes to pick him up.

Teen Hit With Major Drug Trafficking Charges Let Off; Guess Who Her Dad Is

A woman arrested on drug possession and trafficking charges may be the daughter of a Drug Enforcement Agency office.

Doctors Issue Warning About One Of America's Most Popular Foods; If You Eat It, Stop ASAP

An experiment performed by a doctor in Massachusetts has people questioning whether they will ever eat instant noodles again.

School Claims Braless Senior's Shirt Is See-Through, But She Disagrees; You Decide (Photos)

Students at Helena High School in Montana have backed the right of a female senior student not to wear a bra.

Mother Almost Loses Legs As They Rot From Common Habit Most Women Have

A mother spoke out after almost losing her legs from a deadly infection caused by shaving her groin (WARNING: graphic photos below).