Drug company to pay Oakland County for bloated prescription prices

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced that the county has recovered $362,018.02 on behalf of taxpayers from a large drug wholesaler that conspired to inflate the price of prescription drugs.

A class-action lawsuit brought against McKesson, the drug wholesaler, and First Data Bank, a publisher of drug data, said they wrongfully inflated the mark-up factor that determines the average wholesale price of prescription drugs. Their actions resulted in many municipal governments, including Oakland County, to overpay on more than 400 brand name prescription drugs between 2001 and 2006.

Patterson said the county’s Corporation Counsel, Human Resources Department and outside counsel, Sommers Schwartz, worked together to determine the damages against the county and recover the money.

“Our Corporation Counsel, Human Resources Department and outside counsel did an outstanding job,” Patterson said. “Oakland County has a reputation for fiscal excellence because we always fight for the best interest of our taxpayers.”

Oakland County was one of 1,128 valid claimants against McKesson and First Data Bank. They paid $82 million into a fund for distribution to claimants as part of the class-action settlement. The average payment was $55,746.90. For more information about the lawsuit, go to www.McKessonGovernmentAWPClassActionLawsuit.com.

The name of the class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts is “In Re McKesson Governmental Entities Average Wholesale Price Litigation,” case no. 1:08 CV 10843 USDC.  U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris presided.


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