Corporate Compliance

DOJ and 16 states join whistleblower lawsuit against Wyeth

Compliance Monitor, May 20, 2009

The United States, along with 16 states, is joining two whistleblower cases filed against pharmaceutical giant Wyeth for allegedly failing to pay millions in Medicaid rebates, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release.
According to the release, between 2000 and 2006, Wyeth gave large discounts to hospitals that purchased Protonix Oral and Protonix IV as a package deal. The DOJ assumes this was done so Wyeth could gain a foothold in the lucrative outpatient medication market. The logic being, patients who received the intravenous version of the stomach acid suppressant (Protonix IV) would also use the oral version once they were discharged.
The problem is Wyeth failed to extend the discount to Medicaid agencies. According to the release, Wyeth knowingly hid the discount program from the Medicaid program in order to avoid paying hundreds of millions in rebate payments, which it was required to pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.

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