Vermont and 16 other states join suits against drug giant Wyeth

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgVermont Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont and sixteen other states have filed a joint motion to intervene in two whistleblower lawsuits against the drug manufacturer Wyeth. In the motion and accompanying complaint, filed last Friday, the States allege that Wyeth knowingly failed to report certain discounted prices of its drugs as required by laws governing the Medicaid program. As a result, Wyeth allegedly avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates owed to state Medicaid programs for its drugs, Protonix Oral and Protonix IV.”Vermont should not be forced to pay a premium price for these important drugs when it is entitled to a discount. By intervening in this case, we are attempting to protect the fiscal integrity of Vermont’s Medicaid program, and the health of the many Vermonters who depend upon it,” said Attorney General Sorrell.Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, drug manufacturers are required to report to the government certain prices they charge their customers, including the “best price” offered for their drugs. They also are required to pay rebates to the state Medicaid programs which are calculated based on the reported discounted prices offered to other customers. Congress created the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program in order to ensure that Medicaid, the nation’s provider of health insurance to the poor and the disabled and one of the largest purchasers of drugs, receives the benefit of the same discounts offered to other large commercial customers in the marketplace.Between 2001 and 2006, Wyeth offered steep discounts to thousands of hospitals nationwide for Protonix Oral and Protonix IV, which are used to suppress stomach acid, under pricing arrangements known as “Protonix Performance Agreements.” These arrangements offered discounted prices based on certain conditions, such as market share or placement on formularies. The States allege that Wyeth was required under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to report prices paid by hospitals under this arrangement, and to pass along the benefit of the lower prices to the state Medicaid programs. Wyeth allegedly failed to do so and therefore avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars to Medicaid in rebates.Vermont’s role in the case, now pending in the United States District Court for Massachusetts, is being handled by the Office of Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit. By intervening in the suits, Vermont seeks damages from Wyeth on behalf of its Medicaid program.Source: Vermont Attorney General. 5.10.2010last_img read more


Former teammates Dave Roberts, Alex Cora make history with Dodgers-Red Sox World Series

Posted On Aug 26 2020 by

first_imgRoberts has done well enough to get his team to the World Series for the second time in his three seasons as manager. After leaving ESPN to become the Houston Astros’ bench coach last season – where he collected a World Series ring – Cora has led the Red Sox to the World Series in his first season as manager. And the former teammates will be opposing each other.“First off, he loves the game of baseball,” Roberts said of Cora, his teammate with the Dodgers in 2002-04. “He has a crazy passion for it. Very detail-oriented. Always curious about strategies and the why. His ability to focus as a teammate – to just really be able to focus for three hours – he has that ability. And lastly, he connected people, was a leader, always a leader.“So he checks a lot of boxes. So to see him in this position, no surprise. I couldn’t be more happy for him.”It isn’t surprising that Cora wound up here. During his playing days, Cora was seen as a future manager. But Roberts – not so much, his former teammate said.“I wasn’t sure that he wanted to do the coaching thing,” Cora said. “When he got the job with the Padres (as their first base coach in 2010), I think it was, ‘Okay, that’s cool. Look at DR.’ He lives in San Diego, living the good life over there. Why not work there with the Padres? And little by little you could see it. He became I think the bench coach for them and he did an outstanding job. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “He was always very passionate about the game. But I never thought that’s what he wanted.”Cora recalled Roberts wearing that passion on his sleeve in July 2004. Despite leading the National League West at the time, then-Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta made a series of trade-deadline moves. Roberts was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for a forgettable minor-league outfielder named Henri Stanley.Roberts was crestfallen and broke into tears when talking to his teammates.“I still remember … he was crushed,” Cora said Monday. “That was a good baseball team. And they decided to make a few moves, to say the least. And he was part of it. I remember, I told him, I said, “Hey, man, you’re going to a great city. They have a chance to do something special. You never know.’”Roberts not only was part of something special, he had arguably the signature moment of the Red Sox’s curse-busting World Series run in 2004 – which Cora teased him about Monday.“You never know who is going to step up to the plate or going to be on the mound or going to be playing defense that can be the hero,” Cora said. “Dave Roberts in ’04 – he came here, he stole that base against the Yankees, and the rest is history.“Now he comes here and he makes a lot of money signing autographs. I know he puts ‘The greatest stolen base in the history of the game.’ He makes a lot of money in an hour. Probably he’s making money right now.”The two have kept in touch over the years, Roberts said, particularly when Cora decided to make the move back into the dugout. He interviewed for the manager’s job in Arizona two years ago, a job that went to Torey Lovullo, before joining A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff in Houston.“Last year when he was bench coach and even when he was going through the process of interviewing … (we had) a couple conversations, texts throughout the season,” Roberts said. “I think the biggest thing, and we talked about it, is just being open-minded and being who you are, being true to yourself. He’s a very good communicator, knows the game. But continue to be open-minded to a lot of things.”The fact that Cora and Roberts are the opposing managers in the World Series is a sign of at least some progress in opening minds in Major League Baseball. This is the first time two minority managers have led the two World Series teams.“Yeah, that’s big. That’s big. That’s no small thing right there,” Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said. “It just shows how much the game is evolving. It’s just getting better and better. We need more minorities in baseball. It’s something you don’t see a lot.Related Articles “But these are two good guys that had good careers in baseball and their baseball knowledge – there’s a lot of baseball knowledge between those two guys.”The son of an African-American father and a Japanese mother, Roberts is reluctant to make his minority status a topic. A member of MLB’s diversity committee, he did acknowledge the significance of his matchup with Cora, saying “the needle is moving – maybe not as quickly as most people would like.”“I don’t take a whole lot of time in kind of thinking about it,” Roberts said. “But when I do, as in right now, it’s special. … It’s not about myself or Alex. Just to see minorities get opportunities and perform and do well, I think that that gives opportunities for others.“So there’s a responsibility, that I know that Alex shares and I do, to do things the right way and to be good leaders. And so, up to this point, I think we’ve done a pretty good job. But I hope more minorities get opportunities, certainly.” BOSTON — They could have been back in Dodger blue together.“When the interview process took place – actually we talked, we talked about it and he asked me about being part of the coaching staff,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, recalling when Dave Roberts was considered for the job as Dodgers manager in November 2015.“I was like, ‘No, I’m good where I’m at right now’ – because of the situation with ESPN, only working 70 days a year and being able to fly back to Puerto Rico. My daughter, she was growing up and I wanted to be part of it.“All of a sudden he shocked the world. Nobody thought he was going to get that job, and he’s done an outstanding job.” Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Special Audit into UG’s finances at stand-still due to uncertainty on payment plan

Posted On Jan 12 2020 by

first_imgThe special audit into the finances at the University of Guyana (UG) is at a standstill as authorities are yet to figure out who will stand the expense to conduct the probe.Auditor GeneralDeodat SharmaThis is according to Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, who told the Guyana Times that although the payment plan has not yet been finalised, plans are still onboard to have the audit done.“We still got it in plans… we are still waiting to hear but we have not gone in as yet and at the same time also, there is the main issue of who going to pay the fees, we got to really get that clarified. The Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary had stopped the audit, so if we go ahead, somebody has to pay the fees. Normally, we have got to ensure that somebody acknowledges the payment,” he stated.The Auditor General noted that no ground work has been done as yet while noting that other options to conduct the audit may have to be utilised.Initially, the Audit Office of Guyana had contracted an independent company to conduct the much-needed and highly anticipated audit into UG – in light of allegations of mismanagement of funds.This particular audit was first ordered by the Education Ministry after a request was made by the two workers’ unions at UG to have such an investigation launched. The Ministry was reportedly going to stand the expense associated with the investigation.University of Guyana, Turkeyen CampusShortly after the independent company commenced its work into the matter, the Education Ministry withdrew its request for the audit, with no explanation given. Almost two months ago, AG Sharma has noted that the backlog of years UG did not complete its audited financial statements was a cause for worry.Sharma, whose agency audits Government’s public accounts on an annual basis, explained the importance of having those accounts edited to 2018. He was not convinced about the UG administration’s sincerity in clearing this backlog.The University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) have levelled these accusations, in particular. The Unions had joined forces to question why monies were allocated in previous budgets to entities which do not exist and what became of those funds.They had also demanded answers from the administration on how much money was spent on nonessential events within the last two and half years – which included, but were not limited to, the Law and Society series, the Turkeyen-Tain talks, and the Vice-Chancellor’s installation ceremony.They had argued that while these monies were being spent, the core units of the University, which include faculties and schools, had been informed that no money is available for essential repairs and payment for stationery, among others.In his 2016 Audit Report, Sharma had found that $209 million had been unaccounted for from the University of Guyana’s Science and Technology Support Project, funded by the Government of Guyana (GoG) and the International Development Association (IDA) under Credit Agreement No 4969-GY.However, the University had insisted that the monies were used for infrastructure projects on the campus, including a fibre optic cable to provide students with Wi-Fi.It had also noted that some of the monies were used to renovate the faculty buildings.last_img read more