The Texas attorney general has reached a $36.3 million settlement with two pharmaceutical companies accused of Medicaid fraud.
Attorney General Greg Abbott's office announced the deal on Friday with Pfizer Inc. and Endo Pharmaceuticals. Each company will pay $18.1 million and attorney's fees.
Abbott's prosecutors charged the two companies with misrepresenting the costs of generic drugs to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly. The inflated costs led to overpayments to the pharmacy companies.
The case arose form a whistleblower lawsuit brought by the Florida-based pharmacy Ven-a-Care and the state intervened to recover taxpayer money. Ven-a-Care is entitled to a share of the settlement, along with the federal government, which provides two-thirds of Medicaid funding.
Medicaid is one of the largest items in the state budget.