Warrick Pharmaceuticals, a former Schering-Plough acquisition target, and current subsidiary of the renamed Schering-Plough (oddly enough, now called “Merck“) — has been accused by many states of overcharging state payers for albuterol. Massachusetts is among them (background post), seeking around $250 million — now pending a damages order from the federal trial-level court in Boston. [Albuterol was sold under the brand name Proventil® by Warrick and Schering-Plough. it has long since gone generic.]
The more general tenor of each state’s allegations (some 35 in total) is that Warrick, and then later Schering-Plough, published ficticious selling prices for the drug, so as to boost the level at which the state governments would reimburse the companies for providing the drug to patients participating in the Medicare/Medicaid (and similar state-based) systems.
Yesterday, the State governement of Wisconsin, historically pne of the smaller states for Warrick (by amount of revenue), settled with Schering-Plough and Warrick, but decided to continue litigating with New Merck (presumably on other drug pricing fraud claims). Here is a bit, from Drugs.com; do go read it all:
. . . .On Monday, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a settlement in which Merck & Co., Schering Corp. and Warrick Pharmaceuticals Corp. agreed to pay $3.7 million in restitution and $550,000 in costs and fees.
The two companies were bought by Merck. The state’s lawsuit against Merck is still in litigation. . . .
Do stay tuned — as we will report the outcome of the ongoing Wisconsin governmental litigation against Merck.