$173 million global settlement resolves allegations involving shingles patch
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a $173 million global settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals. Endo makes the Lidoderm 5% patch commonly used in treating shingles. Washington's share of the settlement is more than $1 million, which will be split between Washington’s State Medicaid program and the federal government.
Washington joined 46 other states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in the settlement which resolves “whistleblower” cases involving the illegal marketing and promotion of the Lidoderm 5% Patch. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under the provisions of the federal False Claims Act and analogous state False Claims statutes.
“My office helps protect the integrity of our state’s Medicaid program,” said Ferguson. “These lawsuits encourage whistleblowers to come forward. They also send a strong message to pharmaceutical companies that we are watching and we will hold them accountable.”
Allegations against Endo
The lawsuit alleged that between March 1999 and December 2007, Endo knowingly promoted the sale and use of Lidoderm for lower back and chronic pain—uses that were not medically accepted and were not covered by the state Medicaid program.
Endo’s conduct alleged caused false and/or fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Washington State Medicaid program. In total, this caused the Washington Medicaid program to pay Endo $1,096,422 when Endo was not entitled to these payments.
Washington to receive $1,096,422—$539,714 for state and remainder to feds
Under the terms of the civil settlement, Endo will pay nearly $173 million to the states and the federal government as well as a $20.8 million criminal fine. Washington's share is $1,096,422 — of which $539,714 will come back to the state Medicaid program. The remainder will be paid to the federal government to reimburse for its share of Washington’s Medicaid program. The federal government matches state funds to support the Medicaid program in Washington.
Fighting Medicaid fraud in Washington
The Washington portion of the settlement was handled by the AGO’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
The Attorney General's MFCU is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of healthcare provider fraud committed against the state’s Medicaid program.
In addition, the unit coordinates the investigation and prosecution of abuse and neglect involving vulnerable adults residing in Medicaid-funded residential facilities with local law enforcement authorities through a statewide network.
The Washington Department of Social and Health Services, Office of Fraud & Accountability investigates client fraud. You can report Medicaid Client Fraud via the Department’s Online Complaint Form, call the Welfare Fraud Hotline at 1-800-562-6906 or send the complaint to Welfare Fraud Hotline, P.O. Box 45817, Olympia, Washington 98504-5817.
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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
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