For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: November 19, 2009

Idaho Receives $114,826 in Medicaid Fraud Settlement

(Boise) – The State of Idaho, Division of Medicaid, received $114,826 from a settlement reached with Aventis Pharmaceutical, Inc., Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. The settlement resolves allegations that Aventis knowingly misreported the lowest prices for nasal sprays Azmacort, Nasacort and Nasacort AQ.

The agreement, reached by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Medicaid, and Aventis Pharmaceutical, was part of a multistate and federal $95.5 million settlement. The states and federal government allege that, under the Medicaid Drug Rebate statute, Aventis was required to report to Medicaid the lowest, or “best,” price that is charged commercial customers, and pay quarterly rebates to the Medicaid program based on those reported “best” prices.

Aventis entered into agreements with Kaiser Permanente, a large health maintenance organization (HMO), to avoid reporting the “best” price for the drugs, resulting in an underpayment of drug rebates to the Medicaid program and several federal health programs.

Aventis Pharmaceutical’s parent company, Sanofi-Aventis, entered into an addendum to a corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the addendum, Sanofi-Aventis is required to report certain “best” price information for drugs covered by Medicaid and other health care programs. The company was already under a corporate integrity agreement requiring it to report other pricing information to the government as a result of a prior drug pricing settlement concerning the company’s drug Anzemet.

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