August 8, 2018
Berg & Androphy: $20M Settlement in Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act Case Over Alleged Illegal Marketing of Astrazeneca’s Drug Crestor
HOUSTON, July 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Joel M. Androphy and Sarah M. Frazier of the Berg & Androphy law firm, along with the State of Texas and other law firms, have reached settlements in Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act litigation against AstraZeneca. Berg & Androphy is proud to represent one of a very few whistleblowers who came forward at great personal risk in 2010 to bring this conduct to light.
The State of Texas intervened in their case and two other cases, all of which charged that AstraZeneca illegally marketed Crestor and profited from its alleged deception through fraudulently garnered reimbursement from Medicaid.
The settlement encompasses allegations that AstraZeneca directly misled governing bodies of Texas Medicaid, which allowed Crestor to obtain placement on the Texas Medicaid Preferred Drug List free of “prior authorization” restrictions, boosting sales by millions of dollars. Further, the suit alleges that AstraZeneca planned and implemented an unlawful promotional scheme promoting Crestor’s efficacy for unapproved or “off-label” uses, misrepresenting the results of clinical studies, and misleadingly claiming Crestor’s superior efficacy over other statin drugs, including chief competitor Lipitor.
In resolving its liability, AstraZeneca agreed to pay the State of Texas a total sum of $20 million for the release of Texas claims covering the conduct alleged by the suits against the company.
Ms. Frazier commented, “When pharmaceutical companies unduly influence decisions about preferred drugs, Medicaid agencies with limited funds may pay for more expensive, brand name drugs, leaving less funding available to provide essential drugs to all. This is a vital area for policing fraud.”
The case is State of Texas et al. v. AstraZeneca , LP et al.; In the 353rd Judicial District Court, Travis County, Texas; Cause No. D-1-GV-13-000812. The settlement netted Texas and the whistleblowers about $15.5MM.
About Berg & Androphy
Berg & Androphy, based in Houston, Texas, with offices in New York, and by appointment in Washington, D.C., Denver, and Miami, has a nationwide qui tam practice representing whistleblowers in many large fraud cases, including health care, real estate, financial fraud, and defense contractor fraud cases. The lawyers at Berg & Androphy are trial lawyers who are currently litigating numerous qui tam lawsuits without government intervention. Joel Androphy and Sarah Frazier supervise a team of trial lawyers in this practice area.
Contact: Sarah Frazier, Berg & Androphy, 713.529.5622.