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Pharmaceutical firms sued for fraudulent pricing

November 20, 2008 by  

Is big pharma gouging prices?Kansas attorney general Steve Six has said that 17 pharmaceutical companies will be added to an existing lawsuit that claims firms illegally inflated drug costs at the expense of the state’s Medicaid program.

Last month, Six sued 13 drug companies for allegedly misreporting the cost of drugs to the Kansas Medicaid program, in order to boost their reimbursement.

By listing higher costs on a variety of medications when reporting to the state, the firms increased their market share significantly, the suit alleges.

For example, according to Legal Newsline, Amgen/Immunex said that the average wholesale price of the drug Leucovorin Calcium was $137.94. However, the price paid by pharmacists was actually $14.58.

"We believe Kansas has lost millions of dollars as a result of these drug companies’ fraudulent pricing schemes," Six said.

He called the firms’ actions "a disturbing abuse" of the method by which Medicaid reimburses pharmaceutical companies.

Among the 17 defendants listed in the newest suit are Bayer, Eli Lilly and Novartis. The previous filing named Takeda, Schering Plough and GlaxoSmithKline – among others.

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  • Bob Livingston

    This is nothing new.  It’s just an extension of the broken insurance an health care industry.  Drug companies and healthcare providors jack the costs higher and higher to compensate for the small percentage of reimbursement they get from the insurance companies.  They have to increase their charges several fold to see a marginal increase in the reimbursement rate for the care.  The whole system is broken. 

    I saw a statement a few days ago where a doctor charged $560 for his services and the insurance company paid him $66. –Bob

  • Charley

    WHY IS IT THAT CANADA’S  DOCTORS, SURGEONS, HOSPITALS MAKE A PROFIT THAT’S “REASONABLE”  AND  KEEPS THEM IN BUSINESS  -  -  AND OUR MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT C-A-N-’T???   IS IT GREED??  WHY DO OUR DOCTORS HAVE TO BE THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE WORLD???    CHANGE MUST COME – - NOW!!! 

  • Sharon

    Doctors are quitting because the quality of life is bye-bye. They fill out mounds of paperwork, pay huge insurance bills and hope they get paid more than it cost. They have to spend too little time with patients and… Calling a system that profits on chronic illness, and would not be profitably served by good prevention programs, “healthcare,” feels odd. The CEO’s of the pharmaceutical companies have stated they wouldn’t work on a cure that would reduce a chronic treatment market, because the job is make a profit. I don’t know if we can make the kind of changes that make ‘health’ and ‘medical treatment’ sense, because of the size of investment portfolios and personnel lists of insurers and pharmaceutical companies. Go get ‘em, Kansas!

  • s c

    If we had an AG who cared about America (and less about his ‘boss’), he’d be all over those drug firms. We have a mean-spirited AG and a pc White House, so odds are that high prices will continue and Americans will continue to suffer. Mr. Six can put this issue where it belongs – before the public. This single issue is hot enough to force many losers in DC to make decisions that will solve at least two problems. America doesn’t deserve the highest drug price$ in the WORLD or slime on BOTH sides of the aisle who won’t focus on anything but piles of easy money and getting re-elected [W H Y?]. Go for the throat, Mr. Six! People must understand that WASHINGTON is THE problem. This travesty won’t go away until elected rejects
    sever their criminal TIE$ to criminal drug firms.

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