Wholesaler McKesson faces new price-manipulation suit

McKesson ($MCK) is again caught up in the price-manipulation litigation that has nailed a number of companies in the wholesale portion of the pharmaceutical supply chain. 

The case from Arizona comes only weeks after the drug wholesaler settled for $151 million in a case with the same kind of accusations from 29 states. It also has already agreed to pay $190 million to settle the federal portion of the case. Bloomberg says a spokesperson for the company was unavailable, but throughout the earlier litigation, McKesson denied that it had done anything wrong and said it settled for expediency's sake.

"We did not manipulate drug prices and did not violate any laws," a spokesman said when the earlier state litigation was resolved at the end of July.

McKesson is not the only company to have been caught up in the price-manipulation litigation. The federal government has pursued similar claims against a host of companies and says it has recovered nearly $2 billion.

The previous lawsuit claimed that from 2001 to 2009, McKesson purposely inflated the prices of 1,400 drugs when reporting them to FirstDatabank, leaving out such things as bulk discounts or rebates it had received. At the time, FirstDatabank used McKesson's information as its sole source for drug prices and most states then used FirstDatabank as their sole source. The Arizona case involves 400 drugs, Bloomberg reports.

- real the Bloomberg story

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