Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that Arkansas, other states and the federal government have reached a settlement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. over claims that the drug manufacturer promoted the sale of the drug Rapamune for purposes not approved by the FDA.
Arkansas’s Medicaid program will receive a total of $166,713.92 as a result of the settlement. “The taxpayers of Arkansas and Medicaid beneficiaries are harmed when pharmaceutical companies put profits over people,” McDaniel said. “With this settlement, money is restored to Medicaid, and the drug company is held accountable for its actions.” Rapamune is a kidney transplant drug prescribed to prevent the body from rejecting a donor organ that has been transplanted. The states and federal government alleged that Wyeth knowingly promoted the sale and use of the drug for organ transplant patients other than those receiving transplanted kidneys. Also the drug was said to have been promoted in treatment regimens with patients who used another immunosuppressant drug before using Rapamune and who did not receive Rapamune at or around the time of a kidney transplant. Wyeth agreed to pay the states and federal government a total of $491 million, with $60 million allocated for state Medicaid programs. Approximately $197 million will be allocated for other federal health care programs. Wyeth was assessed $233.6 million in criminal fines and forfeitures. The settlement is based on actions filed in federal court in both Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. Wyeth pleaded guilty in federal court today to violations of the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.