July 30, 2012- McKesson Corp will have to pay over $151 million to 29 U.S. states due to allegations it artificially increased drug prices for Medicaid for a number of years. This is the latest settlement reached by the pharmacy supply chain over the prices of prescription medications.
The company is the largest drug wholesaler by sales volume in the U.S. and deliberately increased the prices on a number of its more than 1,400 brand name medications between 2001 and 2009, alleged federal and state officials in the lawsuit. Some of the prices of the most widely used drugs such as Lipitor by Pfizer and Prozac by Eli Lilly increased by over 25%, which caused Medicaid programs to pay millions more, said state officials.
Friday’s settlement includes New York, Illinois, California, 26 more states and Washington D.C. McKesson settled with the federal government for over $187 million back in April. Back in 2008, the company paid out over $500 million to public and private payers over allegations of a similar nature for over pricing.
Any wrongdoing was denied by McKesson and the company, through a spokesman, said the last suit lacked merit. The spokesman said the company did not manipulate any prices on drugs and no laws were violated by the company.
State and federal officials have won over $2 billion in different settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers in recent years over inflating prices.