State reaches $82M settlement in pharmaceutical lawsuit

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state filed suit against more than 40 pharmaceutical firms back in 2006. The suits alleged the companies had been overcharging the state medicaid system for prescription drugs.

The violations allegedly occurred between 1993 and 2006. The companies are not admitting guilt, but are paying all that money more than $86 million to settle the suits.

"And it is my hope that the message that this lawsuit conveys, that is if you overcharge the state of Hawaii in a way the contravenes statutes, we are going to go after you will serve as a deterrent for this kind of conduct in the future," said State Attorney General, Mark Bennett.

"We feel extremely pleased that the settlements represent money coming at a good time to us when our coffers could certainly use it," said State Human Services Director, Lillian Koller.

While the actual settlement is for more than $82 million, almost $14 million will be used to pay legal fees. that leaves more than $68 million.

Attorney General Mark Bennett says between 40% and 55% will go to the federal government. The rest, perhaps as much as $40 million, will go into the state's general fund.

We'll have more on this story tonight on Hawaii News Now.

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