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August 10, 2018 by CBS

Pharmaceutical company to pay Texas $110 million in Medicaid fraud settlement

A pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay $110 million to the state of Texas to settle lawsuits alleging the company falsely and misleadingly marketed two of its drugs, according to the attorney general’s office.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is accused violating the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act by engaging in false and misleading marketing schemes while under a 2010 federal “corporate integrity agreement” resulting from prior allegations of Medicaid fraud.

In the lawsuit, Texas alleges the company continued to promote its antipsychotic medication Seroquel and cholesterol-lowering statin drug Crestor for uses not approved by the FDA—an illegal pharmaceutical promotion commonly referred to as “off-label marketing,” according to the news release.

The company is accused of promoting the antipsychotic drug to Texas Medicaid providers, “who primarily treated children and adolescents when those drugs were not approved as safe and effective for use in that vulnerable population.”

“Texas leads the country in protecting its Medicaid system from pharmaceutical fraud,” Attorney General Ken Paxton stated in the news release. “The allegations that led to this settlement are especially disturbing because the well-being of children and the integrity of the state hospital system were jeopardized. The cooperation and support of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission was essential in achieving this outstanding outcome for Texans.”


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