On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his state had sued Pfizer and Tris Pharma for allegedly defrauding the Texas Medicaid program through its provision of an ADHD medication for children.
According to Paxton, Pfizer and Tris doctored testing data on ADHD drug Quillivant, despite known issues with the medication. Paxton said that the companies had violated the Texas Health Care Program Fraud Prevention Act to get Quillivant past Texas drug regulations.
“I am horrified by the dishonesty we uncovered in this investigation. Pfizer and Tris intentionally concealed and failed to disclose the issues with Quillivant to receive taxpayer funded benefits through Texas Medicaid, defrauding the state and endangering children,” Paxton said in a statement posted on X.
According to a press release from Paxton’s office, Pfizer distributed Quillivant to children on Medicaid “despite the drug’s pattern of failing quality control tests due to flawed manufacturing practices.”
“For years, Tris altered the drug’s testing method in violation of federal and state laws to ensure Quillivant passed regulatory hurdles and could continue to be sold,” Paxton’s office said. “Despite knowing about these serious problems, Pfizer misrepresented to the Medicaid program that Quillivant was in compliance with federal and state law, and concealed from Medicaid decision-makers the fact that Quillivant was an adulterated drug.”
The suit claims that the manufacturing processes were hidden by Pfizer and Tris from 2012 to 2018, and Paxton said that patients had attested that the medication was not working.
“At no point did Defendants warn Texas Medicaid providers or decision-makers that Quillivant had known manufacturing issues affecting its efficacy, thereby depriving the Medicaid program of the crucial information it relies on,” a legal filing from Paxton says. “As a result, thousands of Texas children received an adulterated Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance.”
Relator Tarik Ahmed, one of the plaintiffs named in the case, used to work as head of technology for Tris. According to the filing, he learned of the alleged “substandard manufacturing practices” used by Tris during his time with the company from 2013 to 2017.
Pfizer previously said it was in 2022 by the Southern District of New York over its production of Quillivant and its partnership with Tris, but hadn’t heard any more updates after the initial communication.
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