Jury Selection Begins in Alabama for Trial of 70 Pharmaceutical Firms

June 17, 2008

Jury selection is beginning in the next trial of Alabama’s lawsuits against more than 70 pharmaceutical companies for allegedly overcharging the state’s Medicaid program.

A jury is being selected June 17 in the trial against drug companies Novartis Pharmaceuticals and SmithKline Beecham Corp. before Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price. Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin tomorrow.

In the first trial in February, a state court jury awarded the state $215 million in its Medicaid drug price fraud case against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

Novartis produces a number of drugs, including the high blood pressure medications Diovan and Tekturna. SmithKline makes the asthma medication Advair and other prescription drugs.

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