Office of the Attorney General
Kentucky Court Hands Down $5.3 Million Civil Penalty Against Drug Company for Consumer Protection Violations
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that a Franklin Circuit Court judge has awarded $5.3 million in civil penalties against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for violating Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act. In October 2009, a jury handed down a $14.7 million verdict against AstraZeneca for defrauding the Medicaid Program and Kentucky consumers by inflating the prices of their prescription drugs.
On Tuesday, January 26, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Roger Crittenden granted the Commonwealth's motion for civil penalties. He found 5,391 willful violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and awarded $1,000 per violation for a total civil penalty award of $5,391,000.
"I am certainly pleased with Judge Crittenden's decision to grant our motion for civil penalties," said General Conway. "I believe the outcome of this case sends a clear message to drug companies that deceptive business practices will not be tolerated in Kentucky."
The Office of the Attorney General has filed suit against 47 of the nation's pharmaceutical manufacturers, alleging that the drug companies violated Kentucky's Medicaid Fraud and Consumer Protection statutes and engaged in false and deceptive advertising.
In June 2009, General Conway announced a $16 million verdict against Sandoz, the generic-drugs division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, for inflating the prices of its prescription drugs. The Attorney General's Office has also settled cases with Amgen for $2.4 million, Immunex for $145,000, Bristol-Meyers Squibb for $10 million and Baxter Healthcare Corporation for $2 million.
Since General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or obtained verdicts totaling nearly $100 million for the Kentucky Medicaid Program.