McKesson settles Medicaid price-fixing suit for $151M

Pharmaceutical giant McKesson Corp. will pay $151 million to 29 states and the District of Columbia to settle charges of price fixing drugs intended for the care of Medicaid patients, reported MarketWatch.

San Francisco-based McKesson agreed to settle the charges after it was accused of inflating the prices of drugs for Medicaid patients by as much as 25 percent. Pricings for as many as 1,400 drugs may have been affected, including Ambien, Lipitor and Prozac, according to the article.

It is unknown whether the pricier drugs may have kept patients from adhering to their medication regimens. Failing to take prescription drugs has been linked to higher rates of hospitalization and higher overall healthcare costs.

McKesson denied it inflated prices. "Given the inherent uncertainty of litigation, we determined that this settlement was in the best interest of our employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders," company spokesperson Kris Fortner told the Associated Press, noted MarketWatch.

California received a $23.5 million settlement, according to the San Francisco Business Times. Georgia received $5 million, reported the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

For more:
- read the San Francisco Business Times article
- here's the MarketWatch article
- read the Atlanta Business Chronicle article

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