Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Drug company to pay Florida $8.5 million to settle fraud claims

TALLAHASSEE — A pharmaceutical company accused of bilking the state of millions in a Medicaid fraud scheme will pay $8.5 million as part of a settlement agreement announced Wednesday.

The deal resolves a lawsuit filed against Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., the Connecticut-based parent company of Roxane Laboratories Inc., alleging that the drug manufacturer knowingly misled the state's Medicaid program to overpay for medicine for the previous 18 years.

Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum's office, said both sides sought an agreement to avoid the cost and time of further litigation.

The company was accused of inflating the average wholesale price reported for state Medicaid programs. A pharmacy would pay the company a price lower for the drugs and profit with each Medicaid reimbursement, the lawsuit alleged.

The bigger the price difference the generic-drug maker could offer a pharmacy, the more likely it was to win business at taxpayers' expense, the state claimed.

Florida lost an estimated $4.4 million to Roxane's inflated pricing.

Two other defendants in the litigation — Dey Inc. and Warrick Pharmaceuticals — have yet to resolve their cases. In addition, the attorney general's Medicaid fraud unit is also pursuing legal action against six more drugmakers over fraudulent pricing. The state once estimated the total cost to taxpayers at $75 million.

As a part of the settlement signed earlier this week, Roxane Laboratories denied any wrongdoing or liability, according to court documents. A company representative could not be reached for comment.

A small Key West pharmacy, Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys, alerted Florida officials to the alleged bogus drug pricing in a 1998 whistle-blower claim. The company has made a fortune on its numerous claims and will get $1.35 million in this case.

The state will receive $6.3 million with $4.4 million covering losses, $1.7 million going to the state's general fund coffers and $188,000 to pay for rewards for those who report fraud in Medicaid, the health care program for the poor.

John Frank can be reached at or (850) 224-7263.

Drug company to pay Florida $8.5 million to settle fraud claims 12/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.