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$26 Million Recovered for MO Medicaid Through Settlement With Pharmaceutical Companies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s Medicaid program will recover a $26,668,999 share of a national Medicaid Fraud civil settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., according to an announcement on Monday by Attorney General Chris Koster.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s Medicaid program will recover a $26,668,999 share of a national Medicaid Fraud civil settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., according to an announcement on Monday by Attorney General Chris Koster.

The settlement reached Monday, Nov. 4, resolved a lawsuit filed by whistleblowers and an investigation by multiple states and the federal government.  The lawsuit was filed after allegations of unlawful marketing practices to promote the sales of antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega.

An investigation into the allegations revealed that from 1999 to 2005, Johnson & Johnson employed unlawful off-label marketing, or promoting a drug for a use that it does not have approval for, and kickback schemes to promote the drug Risperdal.  From 2007 through 2009, the company employed off-label marketing to promote sales of Invega.

The lawsuits argued that the pharmaceutical companies made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Risperdal and Invega in promoting their off-label use.  It was also argued that they paid illegal kickbacks to health care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to induce them to promote or prescribe Risperdal to children, adolescents and the elderly when there was no FDA approval for Risperdal use in these patient populations.

The manufacturers' unlawful marketing caused false or fraudulent claims to be submitted to state Medicaid programs, according to Koster.

"This settlement returns scarce health-care dollars to the state of Missouri," said Koster in the statement. "It also serves as a reminder to pharmaceutical companies to market their drugs for FDA-approved product label uses only."

Suspected Medicaid fraud should be reported to the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control unit at 1-800-286-3932 or online.
 
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