Takeda shells out $42M to settle Medicaid fraud claims in Texas

After a whistleblower lawsuit accused Takeda and its subsidiaries of Medicaid fraud through illegal reimbursement arrangements and paid referrals in Texas, the company has agreed to pay more than $42 million to settle the claims.

The Texas Attorney General's Civil Medicaid Fraud Division reached the deal with Takeda and several of its subsidiaries. The company was accused of violating Texas’ Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act (TMFPA), which has collected some $2.5 billion in settlements since 2000, according to a release from the AG's office.

In this suit, a whistleblower accused Takeda's Shire of paying clinical nurse educators to refer and recommend ADHD drug Vyvanse to providers from January 2014 to December 2015. Takeda picked up Shire in 2019 in a deal worth $62 billion.

Takeda denied the claims. A spokesperson said the company “firmly believes its programs are lawful, ethical and address an area of unmet need for patients."

Still, the resolution is “in patients’ best interest," the company's spokesperson said, as it ensures that Medicaid patients in the state can continue to access Takeda’s treatments and patient service programs.

Texas’ Medicaid Fraud division has gone after other drugmakers, such as AstraZeneca, for similar charges. In 2018, the company inked a $100 million settlement to quell claims of aggressively promoting antipsychotic Seroquel to child and adolescent patients.

Further back, in 2015, Glenmark was on the hook for $11.25 million for TMFPA allegations, including fraudulently inflating drug prices to the Medicaid program.