Weather Forecast


Judge orders drug-maker Pharmacia to pay $4.5 million for overcharging Medicaid

A judge in Madison has ordered a prescription drug maker to pay $4.5 million for overcharging the state's Medicaid programs.

A jury ruled in February that Pharmacia Inc., violated the state's Medicaid fraud law almost 1.5 million times, by misrepresenting prices to that many clients over 15 years.

The Justice Department used that figure to seek a fine of $212 million.

But Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess said the jury overstated the number of violations.

Still, he said Pharmacia defrauded the state out of about $7 million.

Pharmacia is owned by Pfizer Inc., which says it will appeal the penalty. Spokesman Chris Loder said Pfizer was pleased that the fines were reduced but the company still believes it owes nothing.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen called the ruling a victory and it sends a message to drug makers to tell the truth about their prices.