The pharmaceutical company Merck agreed to a $650 million settlement to escape charges that it routinely overbilled the U.S. government for medicines. The government accused Merck of giving or selling pills to hospitals at low or no cost to hook poor patients on expensive medicine, so that when the patients were discharged, they would continue taking the drugs with the government footing the bills. A spokesman for the group Taxpayers Against Fraud said the situation was "heroin-dealer economics ... your first shot is for free, and after that it becomes more expensive ... not to the hospital, but to Medicaid, which is paying the bill." A press release about the settlement on Merck's Web site minimized the gravity of the charges, saying the settlement was "related to disputes over the proper calculation of Medicaid rebates" and "certain past sales and marketing activities that ended in 2001."
- About Us
- Press Room