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May 12, 2010 | last updated December 1, 2011 6:16 am

ME to join in Wyeth drug suits

Maine and 16 other states are joining lawsuits against pharmaceutical company Wyeth over millions owed in Medicaid reimbursements.

The 17 states filed a joint motion to intervene in two whistleblower suits against Wyeth for purposefully failing to report discounted prices of two versions of its antacid drug Protonix. Wyeth allegedly avoided paying hundreds of millions in rebates to state Medicaid programs, according to a press release from the Maine Attorney General's Office. Between 2001 and 2006, Wyeth offered discounted prices to thousands of hospitals in the country but did not report those discounts or pass along the benefits of lower prices to state Medicaid programs. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, drug manufacturers must report their lowest prices charged to their customers, and pay rebates to state programs based on reported discount prices offered to other customers, according to the release. Maine is seeking damages from the company on behalf of its MaineCare program.

The two lawsuits are now pending in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts.

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