September 28th, 2012
Public Citizen: State drug fraud cases on the rise
By MATTHEW PERRONE
Federal and state prosecutors have collected more than $30 billion from drug companies for alleged fraud and illegal marketing over the last 20 years, according to a new report by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
The report shows that state attorneys are increasingly following the lead of federal prosecutors in seeking multimillion-dollar settlements with drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly & Co. Analysis by Public Citizen found that state governments have collected $3.7 billion from drugmakers since 2009, or roughly six times more money than in the previous 18 years combined.
Overcharging state health plans like Medicaid was the most common allegation, while unapproved drug marketing was the most costly, the group says.
Drug companies are permitted to market drugs only for uses that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In recent years the Department of Justice and state attorneys general have increasingly pursued cases of off-label marketing, or promoting drugs for unapproved uses.