Local News

N.C. Nets Over $23M in Settlements With Drug Makers

Posted February 11, 2008 6:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 11, 2008 10:18 p.m. EST

— North Carolina will receive more than $23 million for its Medicaid program and public schools as part of global settlements with two drug manufacturers.

Merck & Co. settled allegations with 49 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government that the company failed to pay rebates owed to state Medicaid programs. The settlement totaled $649 million, and North Carolina will received more than $22.5 million of that, state Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday.

“Drug makers shouldn’t cut corners with a program the helps the neediest among us,” Cooper said in a statement. “Schemes like
these hurt taxpayers and drive up health care costs for all of us.”

North Carolina also recovered more than $1.1 million as part of a settlement with Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which has agreed to pay $22.7 million plus interest to 38 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government to settle claims that it defrauded states’ Medicaid programs through its drug pricing and marketing practices.

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance for the poor.