|February 21, 2014
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that Florida has joined 46 other states and the federal government in a $173 million global settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals to resolve civil allegations of unlawful marketing practices aimed at promoting the drug Lidoderm for conditions not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the whistleblower lawsuit, Endo unlawfully marketed Lidoderm for use in connection with lower back pain or chronic pain. The FDA approved Lidoderm only for the treatment of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia, more commonly known as “shingles.” Under the terms of the civil settlement, Endo will pay $172,916,967 to the states and federal government and pay a $20.8 million criminal fine. Florida’s portion of the settlement is nearly $1.5 million.
“My office played a key role in obtaining this global settlement. Improperly marketing prescription drugs can not only be dangerous, but also it causes the Florida Medicaid program to expend federal and state tax dollars on unnecessary drug expenditures,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Allegedly, Endo knowingly promoted the sale and use of Lidoderm for use in connection with lower back and chronic pain, which were not medically accepted indications and were not covered by the state Medicaid program. Endo’s alleged unlawful conduct caused false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Florida Medicaid program, causing the Florida Medicaid program to pay for this drug that would not have been prescribed, but for Endo’s conduct.
A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units worked with the federal government on the investigation and conducted settlement negotiations with Endo on behalf of the states. Team members included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General of Florida, New York, Texas, and Oregon.