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Prominent drug makers agree to $421 million fine (admit defrauding federal government?)

Three major drug manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Roxane Laboratories, Inc., and B. Braun Medical, Inc., agreed to pay more than 400 million dollars in fines to settle a Justice Department suit alleging that they had over-charged for drugs.  Under the Average Wholesale Price program, in reports to the government the manufacturers had grossly inflated the prices actually charged to industry purchasers, thereby enabling these customer-purchasers to be over-paid by Medicaid and Medicare.  The suit was initiated by a Florida whistleblower.  According to insiders, the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) program was so thoroughly abused that it was called the "Ain't What's Paid" program in the pharmaceutical industry.

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