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Express Scripts Inc. agrees to pay over $9.5 million settlement.

Boston, MA: (May-27-08) State Attorneys General of 28 US states brought charges against Express Scripts Inc., alleging that the St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits manager misled consumers when it encouraged doctors to switch patients' cholesterol drug brands. The suit stated that the drugs were changed under the guise of controlling costs. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon accused Express Scripts of being deceptive in telling doctors in some cases that patients and their health plans would save money from a switch to a different drug brand to treat the same condition. The suit, which resulted in a four-year investigation of the company, parallels a similar scenario that took place with a rival benefits manager, Caremark, and which resulted from a 2004 drug-switching settlement with Medco Health Solutions Inc.

Sources stated that the two sides had reached a settlement in the case, with Express Scripts Inc. agreeing to a $9.5 million payout to the 28 states. State attorneys general stated that as part of the agreement, the companies have reviewed the way they treat patients and doctors when they ask to change their prescription medications. Those requests now include full information on costs savings and the reasons for the proposed switch. Express Scripts spokespersons stated that the company will pay $9.3 million of the settlement total to the states and the District of Columbia. Another $200,000 will provide no more than $25 apiece to individual patients to reimburse them for physician visits and tests linked to switches between rival brands of cholesterol-controlling drugs known as statins.

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Published on May-30-08


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