State Recovers Over $400K in Settlement for Unpaid Rebates
The State of Hawai’i is among a settlement against Wyeth, a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., in a lawsuit that alleges that the company knowingly underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program for the sales of Protonix Oral and Protonix IV from 2001 to 2006.
Attorney General Doug Chin said the settlement will provide Hawai’i with $420,337.77 in the settlement out of a total of $784.6 million.
“The Hawai’i Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes those who try to cheat the system in our state,” said Attorney General Chin. “The Hawai’i Medicaid program and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, thanks to this resolution, recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in underpayments from the Protonix distributor.”
The settlement stems from two whistleblower lawsuits which were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The United States, 35 states, including Hawai’i, and the District of Columbia intervened in the lawsuits.
Wyeth allegedly distributed, marketed, and/or sold pharmaceutical products in the U.S., including Protonix Oral and intravenous Protonix IV.
Protonix Oral and Protonix IV are in a class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors, which inhibit the production of gastric acid.
Pfizer acquired Wyeth, Inc. in 2009, after the conduct alleged in the lawsuits.
The Medicaid Prescription Drug Rebate Program was enacted by Congress in 1990 as a cost containment measure for Medicaid’s payment for outpatient drugs. Today’s settlements were negotiated by a team of states working with the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.