Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said Tuesday he issued civil subpoenas to six drugmakers as part of an investigation into whether they overcharged Medicaid.
Crist said in a statement released by his office that he requested documents from Mylan Laboratories, Ivax Corp., PurePac Pharmaceutical Co., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Watson Pharmaceuticals and Geneva Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG.
The state is investigating wholesale drug pricing at the companies from 1994 to the present. During that time, Purepac was acquired by Alpharma and Geneva Pharmaceuticals changed its name to Sandoz.
"If a violation has occurred, we will pursue and recoup these funds, which will help citizens and the overall state budget," Crist said.
Florida's Medicaid program reimburses pharmaceutical companies at wholesale prices reported by drugmakers. Crist's office said the subpoenas request documents that will help determine if the companies inflated the wholesale prices, violating the Florida False Claims Act.
Miami-based Ivax Corp. said in a statement it believes its marketing and pricing practices met all regulations. Spokesmen for Corona, Calif.-based Watson and Elizabeth, N.J.-based Purepac said the companies hadn't fully reviewed the subpoenas.
A spokesman for Novartis, Sheldon Jones, said the company would cooperate fully, but that officials there were confident that its Sandoz subsidiary has followed the law.
Officials at other companies didn't immediately return calls for comment.