March 17, 2010

Maine shares in drug fraud settlement

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

Maine has signed onto a national $42.5 million settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer, Alpharma Inc.

Maine will receive over $405,000, while Medicaid programs nationwide will receive approximately $19.2 million of the total settlement, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced today.

The agreement settles allegations of false or fraudulent Medicaid claims for the drug Kadian, a morphine sulfate product that manages pain.

Maine alleged that, from 2000 through 2008, Alpharma made or disseminated false statements about the safety and efficacy of Kadian to induce health care providers to prescribe the drug. Alpharma also offered and paid for training programs, consulting forums, research grants, and speaker’s bureaus to illegally promote Kadian, the states alleged.

A team representing the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the investigation and conducted settlement negotiations with Alpharma on behalf of the states.

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