Merck settles Mass. Medicaid fraud claims for $24M

AP News
Posted: Dec 20, 2011 4:02 PM
Merck settles Mass. Medicaid fraud claims for $24M

Drugmaker Merck & Co. will pay Massachusetts $24 million to settle a civil lawsuit accusing a former subsidiary of causing the state to overpay pharmacists for a widely used asthma medication.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Tuesday the deal with Merck and 12 other drugmakers that settled previously enables the state to recover more than $47 million for Medicaid, a federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.

The settlement comes more than a year after Merck announced plans to appeal a federal court verdict finding it liable for about $4.6 million in compensatory damages related to pricing of three generic albuterol products manufactured and sold by the defunct Warrick Pharmaceuticals.

Under the settlement, Merck doesn't admit liability or wrongdoing. The Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company says the deal eliminates the uncertainty of ongoing litigation.