Arkansas to get more than $600,000 in settlement of drug kickback case | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 7, 2015

Arkansas to get more than $600,000 in settlement of drug kickback case

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 4:35 PM

The state of Arkansas will be among 40 states sharing a $390 million settlement by Novartis Pharmaceuticals for paying kickbacks to specialty pharmacies that recommended its drug Exjade to Medicaid and Medicrae patients.

The settlement, announced by the attorney general's office, will provide $612,961 to Arkansas, which will go to the Medicaid Trust Fund.

The drug was intended to treat chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions, but Novartis marketed it for other conditions. Novartis was accused of using contests and threatening tactics to get pharmacies to provide inaccurate information to patients to encourage use of the drugs.  Between 2007 and 2012, Novartis allegedly paid kickbacks to BioScrip, Accredo and US Bioservices, which billed themselves as specialty pharmacies that could arrange shipments and run educational programs. They allegedly exaggerated benefits of the drugs and downplayed side effects.

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