Pharmaceutical giants Wyeth and Pfizer, Inc. agreed to pay $784.6 million to resolve allegations that Wyeth violated the False Claims Act by reporting to the government false prices on two of its proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, Protonix Oral and Protonix IV. Under the state Medicaid programs, drug companies must provide Medicaid rebates based on the best prices they offer other customers. According to the government, Wyeth hid from Medicaid bundled discounts it provided to thousands of hospitals across the country on Protonix Oral and Protonix IV. By failing to report these bundled discounts, Wyeth allegedly avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Lauren Kieff, a former hospital sales representative for AstraZeneca and William St. John LaCorte, a physician practicing in New Orleans. They will collectively receive a whistleblower award of roughly $98 million from the proceeds of the federal and state settlements. Whistleblower Insider
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