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Thursday, April 17, 2014         

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State sues 2 firms over alleged prescription drug price gouging

By Ken Kobayashi

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The state filed a lawsuit this morning against a pharmaceutical drug wholesaler and a company that listed drug prices, alleging that they helped inflate the cost of prescription drugs that gouged the state Medicaid program of millions of dollars.

The suit by the Attorney General’s Office is a followup to its earlier lawsuit against more than 40 pharmaceutical drug manufacturers that recovered more than $82 million in out-of-court settlements for the state and the federal government.

The Circuit Court lawsuit is against McKesson Corporation, wholesaler of the drugs, and First DataBank Inc., which compiled prices that the state used in paying for the prescription drugs.

“We are bringing this second phase of this litigation as part of an ongoing effort to recover overcharges and restore transparency and fairness,” Attorney General Mark Bennett said.

“The first phase of the litigation, against the drug manufacturers, was very successful, and this second phase of the litigation continues our efforts.”

 Lillian Koller, Department of Human Services director, said they believe the state and federal government overpaid for the drugs.

The state and federal government pay for the Medicaid program.

“We bring this lawsuit to continue our efforts to protect taxpayers and the integrity of our Medicaid program,” she said.

The suit asks for an unspecified amount of money, including punitive damages and other penalties.







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