Jury orders Actavis to pay $170M in fraud case

Generics maker Actavis has joined the club of drug companies writing checks to make good in pricing-fraud cases. What's different about the Iceland-based company's case is that it actually went to trial. After three weeks in court, a Texas jury awarded the state and federal government $170 million in damages, finding Actavis Mid-Atlantic and Actavis Elizabeth guilty of fraud, KXAN-TV reports.

According to Texas AG Gregg Abbott, the Actavis case arose from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by that tale-telling pharmacy in Florida, Ven-a-Care. The suit accused Actavis' units of defrauding Medicaid by reporting inflated prices to the program. "The jury determined that the defendants owe $170 million because of improper drug price reporting," Abbott said in a statement. "Considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that are at stake, we will continue to vigilantly pursue providers that falsely report prices to Medicaid and defraud the taxpayers."

Actavis is just the latest in a series of drugmakers who've had to pony up in Medicaid pricing suits. Mylan Laboratories recently agreed to pay $65 million to Texas and the feds, while Teva settled with the state in July for $51 million. A suit against Par Pharmaceuticals is on the docket.

- see the AG release
- read the story from KXAN