Florida Medicaid Program Receives $4.2 Million from National Settlement

November 1, 2005

The taxpayer supported Florida Medicaid Program will receive more than $4.2 million as part of a $124-million nationwide settlement with a Tennessee-based drug manufacturer according to Attorney General Charlie Crist. The money will serve as restitution and fines from King Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic drug manufacturer.

A federal investigation revealed that King Pharmaceuticals improperly reported prices for its products to the federal government. These incorrect prices were used by the government to calculate rebates King Pharmaceuticals was required to pay to state Medicaid programs in order to keep its products eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. By reporting the wrong prices, King Pharmaceuticals cheated the various states’ Medicaid programs out of millions of dollars in rebates. As a result, taxpayers were forced to pay a greater amount to maintain the Medicaid program.

“Ripping off Medicaid places an undue burden on Florida’s taxpayers and cheats the poor and disabled from receiving needed services,” said Crist. “This settlement eases some of the taxpayers’ burden and helps ensure that the poor will receive needed medicines.”

The settlement was negotiated by the Justice Department and the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Florida was one of four states that brokered the national settlement.

Since 2003, the investigative and prosecuting efforts of the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have resulted in 212 criminal convictions of individuals or entities charged in state and/or federal courts with defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. During the same period of time, the unit has substantially increased the amount of recouped money, with recoveries now exceeding $139.3 million on behalf of the State of Florida’s Medicaid program.

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