Randalls is the latest pharma company to go to court over alleged drug marketing practices
RANDALL, N.H. — A New Hampshire pharmaceutical company is defending itself in a lawsuit against the state after a federal judge ordered it to pay more than $40 million in damages to drugmakers that it says unfairly targeted Medicaid patients.
U.S. District Judge Robert Zellner on Friday dismissed the lawsuit by Randalls Pharmacy, which said the company had made false claims to Medicaid patients and Medicare beneficiaries about the effectiveness of the drugs it marketed, including those that were sold to patients for the first time.
The state attorney general’s office argued that the lawsuit is based on federal law, not New Hampshire state law, and is without merit.
Randalls, based in Portsmouth, declined to comment.
The lawsuit, filed last year by the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the New England Alliance for Retired Americans, alleged that Randalls sold its drugs to Medicare beneficiaries as if they were Medicaid patients but were not.
The drugmakers also said they made false statements about the efficacy of its drugs, including its two most popular products, pyrimethamine and diclofenac, in the Medicaid program.
The lawsuit also alleged that Medicaid beneficiaries were misled about the amount of time they had to wait before receiving the drug they needed.
The lawsuit also charged that the companies misled the states Medicaid program by misrepresenting the type of medicine Randalls prescribed to Medicaid beneficiaries.
In a statement on Friday, Randalls said the lawsuit “has been dismissed.”
It said it is continuing to fight the allegations, including to defend its products against lawsuits brought by the Alliance for a Drug Free New England.
Randalls did not respond to requests for comment.