06-14-2012

Attorney general announces $7 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Kentucky Press News Service

Frankfort - Attorney General Jack Conway Wednesday announced that he has recovered another $7 million on behalf of the Kentucky Medicaid program following a settlement with the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. This is the latest in a number of settlements in so-called Average Wholesale Price lawsuits filed by the office of the attorney general against 47 of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies.

The lawsuits filed by the Attorney General allege that Johnson & Johnson, which encompasses Janssen Pharmaceutical Products, LP, Centocor, Inc., McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., Ortho Biotech Products, LP and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., published false, inflated and deceptive AWPs for their drugs, which did not bear any relationship to the real prices that they actually charged their customers. The Kentucky Medicaid program relied on these published AWPs to calculate Medicaid drug reimbursement rates, according to a news release from Conway's office.

"The state Medicaid program paid millions of dollars more than it should have for drug reimbursements as a result of the inflated average wholesale prices Johnson & Johnson published," General Conway said. "I appreciate the hard work of my Medicaid Fraud investigators and attorneys who brought this case to a successful close and who work every day to recover money for this vital state program and for Kentucky taxpayers."

Johnson & Johnson brand drugs implicated in the lawsuits included the popular brand drugs Risperdal (schizophrenia), Propulsid (heartburn), Flexeril (muscle strain), Procrit (anemia), Ditropan (overactive bladder), Haldol (psychotic disorders), and Topamax (epilepsy), as well as numerous other drug products.

Since Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded more than $230 million for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.

The Attorney General's Tip Line for reporting allegations of Medicaid fraud is 1-877-228-7384.