Actavis Will Pay $118.6 Million to End Drug-Pricing Claims

Units of Actavis Group Hf (ACT) agreed to pay $118.6 million to resolve claims that they caused the U.S. and four state governments to overpay for drugs.

The settlement, filed Dec. 29 in federal court in Boston, followed an $84 million accord announced a day earlier over a lawsuit by the state of Texas (STOTX1), bringing the total to $202.6 million. In February, a state court jury in Austin ordered units of the Iceland-based company to pay $170 million for inflating billings to the Texas Medicaid program.

In the larger accord, Actavis settled with the U.S., New York, Florida, South Carolina and Iowa. The case was filed by Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc., a specialty pharmacy. Ven- A-Care sued under the U.S. False Claims Act, as well as similar state laws, which let whistle-blowers sue on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.

Gerard Farrell, a spokesman for Actavis Inc., based in Morristown, New Jersey, had no immediate comment.

Ven-A-Care has settled more than 20 lawsuits since 2000 that allowed state and federal governments to collect about $3 billion. Ven-A-Care collected more than $400 million in whistle- blower fees during that period.

The case is In re Pharmaceutical Average Wholesale Price Litigation, MDL No. 1456, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston). The Texas case is State of Texas Ex. Rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc., D-1-GV-08-1566, Texas District Court, Travis County (Austin).

To contact the reporters on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net; Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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