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Ark. AG says deal with drug company to net $489K

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas will receive nearly $490,000 under a settlement reached with a pharmaceutical company over allegations it paid kickbacks and improperly marketed drugs.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals will pay states and the federal government $95 million over allegations involving the drugs Atrovent, Combivent, Micardis and Aggrenox. The drugs are used for circulation or breathing problems.

Arkansas officials said Friday the company's practices led to increased costs to taxpayers. The money will go to the state Medicaid program.

The firm was accused of unlawfully marketing drugs for non-FDA-approved illnesses, which led to false Medicaid claims. The governments also accused the company of paying kickbacks to healthcare professionals to prescribe the drugs.

The company said Thursday it cooperated with the government investigation and that the agreement was not an admission of liability.