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Big Pharma Settles for $124 Million

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - Four pharmaceutical companies will pay Missouri $2.5 million to settle accusations of Medicaid fraud - part of a $124 million nationwide settlement. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, UDL Laboratories, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical were accused of misclassifying drugs made by other companies to get bigger rebates from Missouri.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said the companies underpaid their Medicaid rebates due to the improper classifications.

The companies were part of Missouri's Medicaid Rebate Program, which requires companies to pay quarterly rebates to Medicaid based on the amount of money Medicaid paid for each company's drugs. The rebate for innovator drugs is higher than the rebate for non-innovator drugs.

The $2.5 million collected by Missouri adds to the state's record breaking year for Medicaid fraud recovery. Koster's office has recovered more than $77 million since Jan. 1 on behalf of the state's Medicaid system.

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