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Feds: Medicaid owes US $4.1 million

Managed Care Weekly Advisor, August 22, 2007

West Virginia's Medicaid program has come under fire from the federal government, on charges that the state failed to share proceeds from a $10 million settlement with the maker of OxyContin.

According to The Herald Dispatch of Huntington, VA, the state Bureau of Medical Services received a notice of disallowance from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The bureau says West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw improperly settled a 2001 lawsuit against Purdue Pharma by claiming the pharmaceutical company dishonestly marketed OxyContin to doctors, pharmacists, and patients.

The attorney general's lawsuit alleged that Purdue Pharma caused state-run healthcare programs, such as Medicaid, to cover unnecessary and excessive prescriptions in an effort to sell more pills. State healthcare agencies estimated spending about $30.5 million on OxyContin between 1996 and 2003.

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