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May 05, 2011

LITTLE ROCK -- Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that Arkansas, along with other states and the federal government, has reached a settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer EMD Serono, Inc., over allegations of false or fraudulent claims submitted to the state's Medicaid program.

During the period from March 2002 through December 2009, EMD Serono paid remuneration to health care professionals for speaking engagements, advisory and consultant meetings, speaker training sessions, educational grants and charitable contributions. McDaniel claimed that at least one purpose of these payments was to induce those professionals to prescribe Rebif. The drug is used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Under the agreement, EMD Serono will pay a total of $44.3 million, plus interest. Approximately $19 million of the total settlement will be allocated to Medicaid programs nationwide.

Arkansas's Medicaid program will receive $150,693.73 as a result of the settlement.

"Actions like these have a detrimental impact to our state's Medicaid program, and our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to investigate and work to prevent this type of activity," McDaniel said. "I applaud the states and federal government for working together to reach this settlement."

The settlement agreement was the result of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland, alleging EMD Serono violated the Federal False Claims Act.