On Friday, we announced $3.9 million in settlements with three drug companies, including the makers of Botox:
The settlements involve the marketing of drugs in a way that runs afoul of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Those marketing practices, government attorneys say, illegally extract money from Medicaid.
“Taxpayers, who fund Medicaid, pay millions for medications every year,” McKenna said. “They deserve to know that their money is being spent for drugs to treat approved illnesses. Today’s settlement returns millions of those hard-earned dollars back to the programs for which they were intended.”
Why Botox, you ask? It turns out the drug was being marketed for all kinds of interesting things:
According to today’s announcement, Allergan, Inc., and Allergan USA, Inc. will settle allegations of off-label marketing of Botox to treat patients suffering from conditions including headaches, overactive bladders and muscle spasms. Allergan’s marketing included providing physicians with “free” reimbursement services and support, and training them to use a particular Medicaid billing code in order to obtain reimbursement for off-label uses. Allergan also funded continuing medical education programs, honoraria and grants to health care professionals to promote off-label uses.
Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit handles these settlements and brings in nearly $20 million a year in the process.