Drug companies found guilty in AWP case

July 2, 2007

A federal judge ruled that AstraZeneca, a subsidiary of Schering-Plough, and Bristol-Myers Squibb are guilty of reporting false average wholesale prices for a number of prescription drugs in violation of a Massachusetts consumer protection law.

A federal judge ruled that AstraZeneca, a subsidiary of Schering-Plough, and Bristol-Myers Squibb are guilty of reporting false average wholesale prices for a number of prescription drugs in violation of a Massachusetts consumer protection law. The ruling was part of a larger class-action suit charging that AWP prices published by First DataBank were inflated. First DataBank is also a defendant in the case and has agreed to a settlement, which would require the company to eliminate a 5% markup it had added to AWP prices and discontinue publishing it altogether. While Schering-Plough generic subsidiary, Warrick, was found guilty of inflating the price of its albuterol sulfate product, additional charges against the company's branded drugs were dismissed. All three companies were ordered to pay damages, but the exact terms have not been determined. The companies are considering an appeal.

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