ST. LOUIS (CN) – Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay $403 million to settle Medicaid fraud claims from 44 states and the U.S. Department of Justice. The drug company is accused of manipulating prices, paying kickbacks, underpaying rebates and pushing drugs for off-label uses. Missouri will get more than $11 million, Attorney General Jay Nixon said.
Bristol-Myers reported higher prices to industry publications than it actually charged for its drugs, to inflate the price it could charge Medicaid, which uses the average wholesale price to set reimbursement rates.
Bristol-Myers also paid kickbacks to pharmacies and wholesalers to persuade them to carry its generic drugs.
It pushed its anti-psychotic drug Abilify for off-label uses, for children and dementia-related psychosis.
And it underpaid rebates to states’ Medicaid programs by shipping drugs under false or misleading names. For example, it shipped its antidepressant Serzone under a different company name, and at a lower price, which was not used in Bristol-Myers’ price calculation under the federal Medicaid drug rebate statute.