Florida joined a civil whistle-blower lawsuit alleging three generic-drug manufacturers defrauded the state Medicaid program of at least $25 million from 1994 to 2004. The suit names Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Morgantown, W. Va., and its parent; Teva Pharmaceuticals, North Wales, Pa., and several predecessor companies since merged into its parent; and Watson Pharmaceuticals, Corona, Calif. The companies allegedly inflated drug prices and costs that were submitted to First Data Bank and subsequently used to set Medicaid reimbursement. At deadline, officials from the companies could not be reached for comment. The attorney general is seeking triple damages. The whistle-blower suit was one of several filed by principals in a defunct Key West, Fla., home-infusion pharmacy, Ven-A-Care. In 2001, Mylan paid $147 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the company conspired with suppliers to corner the market on raw materials for two generic anti-anxiety drugs and then illegally raised the drugs' prices. Mylan settled without admitting wrongdoing. -- by Mark Taylor
Fla. joins fraud suit against generic drugmakers
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