AmerisourceBergen in $625 million drug distribution settlement

  • The settlement followed a related September 2017 guilty plea by the company's AmerisourceBergen specialty group unit, which included $260 million of criminal fines and forfeitures.
  • Authorities accused the unit's Medical Initiatives pharmacy subsidiary in Alabama of causing numerous false claims to be submitted to Medicaid for unapproved new drugs, and for defective or compromised new drugs.
Steve Collis, president and chief executive officer of AmerisourceBergen Corp., testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018. 
Aaron P. Bernstein | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Steve Collis, president and chief executive officer of AmerisourceBergen Corp., testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018. 

AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest U.S. drug wholesalers, will pay the federal and state governments $625 million to resolve civil claims over its illegal distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs, including syringes for cancer patients, New York's attorney general said on Monday.

The settlement followed a related September 2017 guilty plea by the company's AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group unit, which included $260 million of criminal fines and forfeitures.

Authorities accused the unit's Medical Initiatives pharmacy subsidiary in Alabama of causing numerous false claims to be submitted to Medicaid for unapproved new drugs, and for defective or compromised new drugs.

They also faulted the unit for illegally shipping pre-filled syringes that contained drugs for patients in chemotherapy, and which were prepared in an unsterile environment. These drugs included Aloxi, Anzemet, Kytril, Neupogen and Procrit.

"We have zero tolerance for big corporations that skirt federal and state laws to boost their profits at the expense of vulnerable individuals," New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

AmerisourceBergen has said it set aside $625 million for the settlement in its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2017.