Pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Company, agreed to pay $7.9 million to settle allegations it engaged in a kickback scheme in violation of the False Claims Act. According to the government, Medco solicited remuneration from AstraZeneca in exchange for identifying Nexium as the “sole and exclusive” proton pump inhibitor on certain of Medco’s prescription drug lists known as formularies. AstraZeneca allegedly compensated Medco in the form of reduced prices on the following AstraZeneca drugs: Prilosec, Toprol XL and Plendil. In January 2015, the government reached a $7.9 million settlement with AstraZeneca to resolve kickback allegations arising out of the same conduct. The allegations first arose in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former AstraZeneca employees Paul DiMattia and F. Folger Tuggle under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. They will receive a whistleblower reward from the recovery that has yet to be determined. DOJ
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