Washington gets $368,000 under Medicaid fraud settlement - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington gets $368,000 under Medicaid fraud settlement

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -

Washington state will keep a small fraction of a $280 million national settlement involving a pharmaceutical company accused of committing fraud by promoting two drugs for unapproved cancer treatments.

Celgene Corp. denied wrongdoing but agreed to pay the federal government, 28 states and the District of Columbia to settle a whistleblower claim brought by a former company saleswoman. Washington state will keep about $368,000 for its Medicaid program under the settlement announced Tuesday. The whistleblower could be entitled to as much as $84 million.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says that from 2000 to 2015, Celgene marketed and sold medications Revlimid and Thalomid for conditions the FDA had not approved, and that the company promoted the drugs by making false or misleading statements in medical literature and clinical studies.

Prosecutors also said Celgene paid physicians kickbacks for prescribing the medications.

___

This story has been corrected to delete a reference to unapproved uses to treat leprosy; one of the drugs had been approved for that purpose.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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