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Pharmaceutical Fraud Settlement Recovers More Than $170K for RI Medicaid

Thursday, September 02, 2010


According to the office of Attorney General Patrick Lynch, the State of Rhode Island is receiving a total of $361,707.93 in state and federal funds in a settlement with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to settle allegations that it engaged in an off-label marketing campaign that improperly promoted the anticonvulsant drug Topamax. The pharmaceutical company has been accused of marketing Topamax, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat epileptic symptoms and to aid in the prevention of migraine symptoms, to physicians for a variety of psychiatric conditions. As a result, government healthcare programs such as Medicaid paid for more Topamax prescriptions than they should have.

Ortho-McNeil-Janssen will pay the state Medicaid programs a total of $50.7 million in damages and penalties, with the funds allocated to the states and federal government based on their joint funding of Medicaid in compensation for the harm suffered as a result of its conduct. As part of the settlement, Rhode Island will receive $173,615.34 that Lynch’s office will forward to the State Department of Human Services (HHS), which administers Medicaid. The balance of the recovered monies allocated to Rhode Island represent the federal portion of the Medicaid recovery and will go to the US Department of Health and Human Services.


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