Attorney General Jon Bruning today announced Nebraska will receive more than $200,000 from a multi-state settlement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The $491 million settlement resolves civil and criminal allegations that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals promoted the sale and use of the drug Rapamune for unapproved uses. The total portion of the settlement recovered for Nebraska’s Medicaid program is $208,554.46.
“Pharmaceutical companies should not profit by skirting the law,” said Bruning. “This settlement helps to ensure these drugs are marketed properly in the future.”
Rapamune is an FDA approved kidney transplant drug prescribed to prevent the body from rejecting a donor organ that has been transplanted into the body.
The settlement resulted from an investigation into claims alleging Wyeth knowingly promoted the sale and use of Rapamune for use in transplant patients other than kidney transplant patients. In addition, the company promoted the drug for treatment of patients who used another immunosuppressant drug, but did not receive Rapamune at the time of a kidney transplant.
In cooperation with the Nebraska Legislature, Bruning established the Medicaid Fraud Unit in 2004. Since its beginning, the Unit has recovered more than $60 million from violating service providers and drug companies. When the Unit was established, Bruning promised the Legislature it would be self-funding in three years. The annual recoveries surpassed its operating budget starting in 2006, a year ahead of schedule.