Watson Pharmaceuticals to Pay Idaho $1.7 Million Drug Settlement


More than $400,000 has been earmarked for Idaho's General Fund as part of a $1.7 million settlement with Watson Pharmaceuticals, resolving claims of excessive prices Idaho Medicaid paid for prescription drugs. Watson is among the top five drug manufacturers in the United States.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed suits against several pharmaceutical companies, including Watson, in 2007, alleging inflated prices for drugs purchased by Idaho Medicaid for low-income Idahoans. In one example, Wasden cited that Watson's published price for Lorazepam was 1,239 percent higher than the actual average wholesale price.

"We uncovered a very large number of instances (in which) drug manufacturers reported false and inflated prices for their drugs,” said Wasden.

The $1.7 million settlement includes $423,724 to be deposited in the state's General Fund to be appropriated by the Idaho Legislature and $1,055,459 to reimburse the federal share of Medicaid overpayments. Additionally, $50,000 will reimburse Wasden's office for its investigation and legal costs.