Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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December 17, 2012

Settlement will help uninsured Pennsylvanians pay for their meds

Harrisburg - Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced today that $2.7 million is being given to the Department of Aging's PACE program. Kelly says the money will be used to help uninsured Pennsylvanians pay for their prescription drugs. The money comes from the resolution of a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, in which Glaxo was accused of engaging in false and misleading drug pricing practices. The money was awarded to Pennsylvania by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

"This case goes all the way back to 2004," according to Kelly. "It shows you the persistence of our team of anti-trust people who fight to protect consumers. Now this money can be used to help some deserving people in Pennsylvania."

Kelly says the money will be targeted to help the working poor, because they are the ones who most often fall in a so-called "gap" in drug coverage. In many cases they are given little or no help to pay for their prescription drugs because they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid or other programs.

Glaxo is one of 13 drug companies accused of falsely setting average wholesale prices for their drugs. Glaxo settled the case in 2007, and reimbursement of consumers began in 2008. The $2.7 million represents Pennsylvania's share of the money that remained after all other claims had been satisfied.

Kelly singled out Chief Deputy Attorney General Jim Donahue, the head of the antitrust team at the Office of the Attorney General, who is retiring in January.

"This is just one of dozens of cases in which Jim Donahue has led the charge," said Kelly. "He has made a career out of saving millions of dollars for Pennsylvania consumers. Whoever succeeds him will have very large shoes to fill."

Kelly also thanked the Pennsylvania PACE program for its help in getting a satisfactory resolution of the case.

Kelly stresses that there is help available to you if can't afford to pay for the medicines you need. To see if you qualify, please dial 1-800-955-0989. Those who qualify will pay $0 for generic medications and $15 for name brand drugs.

The other states joining Pennsylvania in the Glaxo settlement are Arizona, Connecticut, Montana and Nevada.

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