TX AG inks $19.9M deal with drug maker over Medicaid fraud allegations
From the Texas Attorney General's Office:
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the resolution of a civil Medicaid fraud enforcement action against Swiss-based pharmaceutical drug company Novartis for unlawful and deceptive marketing of a topical skin cream product.
Under today's agreement, Novartis must pay a total of $19.9 million to resolve the State of Texas and the federal government's allegations of off-label marketing. Texas' share of the settlement proceeds is $6,638,250. The State's investigation revealed that Novartis unlawfully marketed eczema drug Elidel to treat infant children while failing to disclose the drug's known harmful side effects – including cancer-related risks.
Evidence uncovered by the State revealed that Novartis improperly urged physicians to prescribe Elidel to children under two years of age for purposes that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because of the defendant's misrepresentations, the Texas Medicaid program overpaid for Elidel prescriptions.
Because Medicaid is jointly funded by the State and the federal government, the federal government is entitled to a share of the $19.9 million total monetary settlement. Under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, the relator-whistleblower who uncovered the defendant's unlawful conduct and reported it to authorities will also receive a share of the total monetary settlement. Additionally, the Texas Attorney General's Office and the relator-whistleblower will recover investigative and legal costs associated with the enforcement action.
The Texas Attorney General's civil Medicaid fraud team included: Chari Kelly, Linda Halpern, Cynthia O'Keeffe, Kris Kennedy, Kevin Moczygemba, Carl Myers, Justin Dunlap, Rudy Moya, Janice Garrett and Raymond Winter.
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:11 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:11:25 GMT
Cherokee County authorities are investigating a fatal house fire Friday night. It happened just before 7:30 on County Road 3302 outside of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Fire Department, Cherokee CountyMore >>
Happened just outside of Jacksonville on Friday night.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:21 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:21:23 GMT
From the Tyler Police Department:At approximately 5:20Pm on May 24, 2013, Tyler Police were notified of the motorcycle accident at Grande and Sutherland. The driver of a black Ford F-150 was heading east onMore >>
Rider was not wearing a helmet when she collided with a truck.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:59:21 GMT
A Tyler ISD bus driver was arrested Friday afternoon on drug charges.Ronald Gain, 44, of Tyler, was arrested by the Tyler Police Department on one charge of possession of a controlled substance. TylerMore >>
Has worked for the district since August of 2012.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:23 GMT
We have a follow-up on a World War II veteran's headstone found on a bank of the Sabine River. Today, the Kilgore Cemetery administrator found out that Virgil Green was buried in the historical portionMore >>
Today, the Kilgore Cemetery administrator found out that Virgil Green was buried in the historical portion of Danville Cemetery.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:20 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:20:39 GMT
Fire crews have closed a street in north Tyler as they fight an apartment fire. Several crews are on the scene at an apartment complex in the 700 block of South Kennedy Avenue. The fire started aroundMore >>
Fire crews closed a street in north Tyler as they battled an apartment fire.More >>