Novartis to appeal decision in Alabama drug pricing suit

July 3, 2008

Suit was brought by the Alabama Attorney General against 73 pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals said it is going to appeal a judgment rendered in an Alabama drug pricing lawsuit. The suit was brought by the Alabama Attorney General against 73 pharmaceutical manufacturers. It claimed that the average wholesale price and wholesale acquisition cost they provided resulted in overpayment to pharmacists and doctors in the state Medicaid system. A jury ordered Novartis to pay $33 million in compensatory damages, but threw out claims for punitive damages. Novartis believes it reported true and accurate prices, based on terms that have been used by the industry, including Medicaid, for more than 30 years. The East Hanover, N.J., firm said it would appeal the decision. Other companies that were sued are also considering filing an appeal. For instance, an attorney for GlaxoSmithKline, which was ordered to pay more than $80 million, is considering an appeal.

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