Wyeth faces whistleblower suits over Protonix pricing

In theory, drug companies are supposed to sell drugs to Medicaid for the lowest price that they offer commercial buyers. But according to two whistleblowers, Wyeth didn't follow the rules when it came to acid-reflux drug Protonix.

According to the suits, which were joined yesterday by the federal government and 16 states, Wyeth failed to give Medicaid programs the discounts it offered to hospitals on two versions of Protonix. The filings say that by doing so, Wyeth avoided paying out hundreds of millions in rebates.

The question of whether drug companies are dodging their Medicaid discount is not new. In fact, just last year Merck agreed to pay about $650 million to settle similar charges related to pricing of several drugs.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece