Week in Review, February 10, 2012

It’s finally Friday! We have our 3D glasses ready, and our costumes pressed because today, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace makes its way back into theaters and this time it’s in spectacular 3D! Okay, let’s face it, for many fans the movie can only be made better by the addition of 3D. Well that and perhaps having Jar Jar Binks digitally removed and replaced by anyone…let’s go with Salacious Crumb. He was just as freaky looking, but he was funny! Now that we’ve unofficially kicked off Celebration VI a few months early, we’ll get down to the important stuff in this universe – this week’s News in Review.

There’s A New Hope for states looking to manage Medicaid costs. A rule change will allow states to reimburse for drugs based on what pharmacies actually paid for them, and not the price of the drug as self-reported by the manufacturer. The rule is based on a program pioneered by the state of Alabama through which the state collected receipts from pharmacies to determine what they should be paying for drugs. The federal government will provide assistance to the states in collecting the pricing data. The rule also increases what pharmaceutical companies pay in drug rebates to state Medicaid programs.

Maine is looking to jump on board the false claims (star) ship. A bill has been introduced into the state legislature to create a False Claim Act. The bill would include whistleblower provisions similar to those in the federal statute. And, in a different part of the galaxy, Louisiana has reached a $25.2 million settlement with five pharma companies to resolve claims of Medicaid fraud.

The force may not be with federal prosecutors in the FCPA sting case. Prosecutors have been granted a request to delay moving forward with proceedings and they have until February 21 to decide if they want to continue with the case. You may recall that the second trial in the case ended with the acquittal of two of the defendants and a mistrial for the remaining defendants after a verdict could not be reached. The jury foreman offered an explanation to the FCPA professor.

Lando’s agreement with Darth Vader may not have worked out as expected, but we’re sure that won’t be the case for the maker of the orthopedic product, Orthofix. The company has reached an agreement in principle with the DOJ to resolve possible violations of the FCPA after disclosing an improper payment by one of its distributors in 2010.

Dava Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations the company violated the False Claims Act. The government alleged the company had underpaid Medicaid rebates by incorrectly calculating the average manufacturing price of several of its drugs, and also by treating those drugs as generics.

Well, that’s a wrap on all the news in the compliance galaxy for this week. As you pack up the plastic light sabers and head off to the theater, we invite you to consider methods for delivering up-to-date compliance content straight into the hands of your own Rebel Army (aka sales reps). While we’re still working on that “good promotional practices delivered via hologram” concept, we do offer the iPad-compatible training modules and reference apps you need to help integrate a true values-based culture into your company.

Have a great weekend and may the Force be with you.

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