|The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday upheld damages that were awarded in a lawsuit the state brought against a prescription drug company accused of inflating prices.
The lawsuit dates back to 2004 when then-Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager sued 36 drug companies alleging they inflated wholesale prices to get larger payments from Medicaid, private insurers and consumers.
The case against Pharmacia Inc. was the first to go to trial, and in 2009 a jury found that the drug maker violated the state's Medicaid fraud law 1.44 million times over a decade. After reviewing the evidence, the judge found the actual tally was 4,578 and ordered the company to pay $4.5 million in forfeitures and other costs. The jury also awarded $9 million in damages.
Pharmacia appealed, arguing that the jury incorrectly calculated the damages, that the number of violations should be reduced to zero, and that a jury trial was improper.