Cook County Record

Monday, November 18, 2019

Drugmakers, IL A/G settle Medicaid drug price lawsuit for $242M

State Court

By The Cook County Record | Oct 30, 2019

Illinois capitol building
Illinois State Capitol

A group of many of the country’s biggest drugmakers have agreed to pay the state of Illinois $242 million under a settlement to end lawsuits filed by the state accusing the companies of inflating drug prices paid by the state’s Medicaid system.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the settlement on Oct. 28.

Under the deal, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline would pay the state $54.65 million; Johnson & Johnson would pay $49.5 million; Pfizer would pay $41 million; and Novartis would pay $21.28 million.

Other drug companies paying settlements, ranging from $1.4 million to $18.96 million, included: Abbott Laboratories, Abbvie, Aventis, Pharmacia Corporation, Forest Laboratories, B. Braun Medical and TAP Pharmaceuticals, among others.

Raoul’s office said the settlements come as the final deal in the long-running litigation filed by the state as long ago as 2005. In all, the Attorney General’s office said the litigation has resulted in settlements worth a total of more than $678 million. Raoul became Attorney General in 2019.

Raoul said the state believed the companies involved in the settlement “engaged in a deceptive and illegal scheme to manipulate the drug pricing system to boost their own earnings.”

The state’s lawsuit alleged the pharmaceutical makers “fraudulently published inflated Average Wholesale Prices seeking larger profits for themselves.” Medicaid uses the Average Wholesale Price to determine how much to reimburse for drugs prescribed to Medicaid patients.

In a report published about the settlement by Bloomberg, the drug makers said the companies agreed to settle to end the litigation, and did not mean the companies admitted to any wrongdoing.

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