"Jaws dropped at news this summer that the federal government was seeking as much as $3.3 billion from drugmaker Novartis for allegedly paying kickbacks to pharmacies.
But the feds aren't the only ones trying to make Novartis pay up on false claims allegations, and it's not just Medicare dollars at stake. Eleven states are also parties to the lawsuit under the authority of their own false claims laws. They're seeking to recover money paid out by their state Medicaid programs.
The Novartis case is the latest example of states using their own false claims laws to pursue questionable Medicaid billings by drugmakers, healthcare providers and suppliers. Lured by the potential for big paydays, several states, including Maryland and Vermont, passed or expanded their false claims laws this year, bringing the number of states with their own false claims statutes to nearly 30, according to the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund.
Many state false claims laws are similar to the federal law, financially penalizing those who knowingly submit false claims to state programs such as Medicaid. Many of the state laws also allow whistle-blowers to initiate lawsuits on behalf of the state."
Read more at Modern Healthcare
"The United States says Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) should pay as much as $3.35 billion in damages and civil fines because the Swiss drugmaker used kickbacks to boost sales of two drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
In papers filed Monday night in Manhattan federal court, the government said it deserves that sum under the federal False Claims Act over alleged improper reimbursements for Exjade, used by patients who receive blood transfusions, and Myfortic, for patients with kidney transplants.
The government is seeking up to $1.52 billion in damages, representing triple the sums allegedly reimbursed and tainted by kickbacks between 2004 and 2013."
Read more at Reuters