Attorney General Janet T. Mills Announces Alpharma, Inc. to Pay $42.5 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations

March 17, 2010

For Immediate Release

Attorney General Janet T. Mills Announces Alpharma, Inc. to Pay $42.5 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations

Contact: Kate Simmons (207) 626-8577

Augusta- Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced today that Maine has joined other states and the federal government to reach an agreement in principle with pharmaceutical manufacturer, Alpharma Inc. This agreement settles allegations of false or fraudulent claims for the drug Kadian that were submitted to the Medicaid program. Kadian is a sustained release morphine sulfate product that manages pain. Under the agreement, Alpharma will pay the participating states and the federal government $42.5 million, plus interest. Maine will receive over $405,000, while Medicaid programs nationwide will receive approximately $19.2 million of the total settlement. Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal and state governments.

Maine alleged that during the period of January 1, 2000 through December 29, 2008, Alpharma made or disseminated false statements about the safety and efficacy of Kadian to induce health care providers to prescribe the drug. Alpharma also offered and paid for training programs, consulting forums, research grants, and speaker?s bureaus to illegally promote Kadian.

The investigation was initiated by a lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. This Act creates a mechanism for whistleblowers to initiate a government action to investigate and prosecute allegations of corporate wrongdoing.

A team representing the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the investigation and conducted settlement negotiations with Alpharma on behalf of the states. Team members included representatives from South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Vermont and Arkansas.

Attorney General Mills would like to thank Assistant Attorney General Michael Miller and the staff of the Healthcare Crimes Unit of the Maine Attorney General's Office for their excellent work on this case. The Healthcare Crimes Unit welcomes information regarding fraud or abuse involving Medicaid funded services in Maine.