Pharmaceutical Company To Pay $160 million For Medicaid Fraud

The state of Alabama has been actively pursuing various pharmaceutrical companies for fraudulently overcharging the Medicaid program for drugs.  The first case to go to trial was against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.  A jury found in favor of the state, and awarded $40 million in compensatory damages, and $175 million in punitive damages.  The trial judge recently cut the punitive damage award down to $120 million, reasoning that Alabama state law limited punitive damages to an amount equal to three times the compensatory damages.  So, the total judgment against AstraZeneca will be $160 million.   The Associated Press quoted AstraZeneca spokesperson Laura Woodin as stating “AstraZeneca has fully complied with the law.”  But, of course, this is what corporate spokespeople usually say when their companies are caught not complying with the law.

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