March 18, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo.-Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that a pharmaceutical company will pay Missouri $840,000 as part of a national settlement after the company was accused of Medicaid fraud.
According to Koster, the pharmaceutical manufacturer Alpharma Inc. is accused of making fraudulent or false claims for its morphine sulfate product Kadian in order for it to be paid for by the Medicaid program. Koster alleged that during the period of January 1, 2000, through December 29, 2008, Alpharma offered and paid for training programs, consulting forums, research grants and speakers' bureaus, and made or disseminated false statements about the safety and efficacy of Kadian, all of which was done to induce health-care providers to prescribe Kadian.
"In these difficult budget times the last thing states can afford to do is pay for pharmaceuticals that have been marketed in unfair ways to Medicaid providers," Koster said. "We will continue to protect Missouri Medicaid's budget by recovering expenses that were fraudulently obtained."
The state will return a portion of the $840,000 settlement funds to the federal government; Medicaid's costs are shared by the states and the federal government.
Koster said citizens should report suspected Medicaid fraud to the Attorney General's Office Medicaid fraud hotline at 800-286-3932.