State settles with pharma firm for nearly $400K

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Georgia has joined several other states and the federal government in a $44.3 million settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer EMD Serono Inc. over allegations of making false or fraudulent claims for a drug, Rebif, that was submitted to the Medicaid program.

EMD Serono has agreed to pay the states and the federal government $44.3 million, with Medicaid programs nationwide receiving about $19 million of the settlement. Georgia will receive $399,412 in state and federal funds as its share of the settlement, according to the attorney general’s office.

Rebif is a drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system.

EMD Serono allegedly paid healthcare professionals for promotional speaking engagements, speaker training, advisory and consultant meetings, educational grants, and charitable contributions during the March 2002-December 2009 period to persuade them to prescribe Rebif.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: attorney general , EMD Serono , Medicaid drugs , settlement