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NC settles Medicaid fraud case against drug maker

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina will reap almost $16 million from a national Medicaid fraud settlement involving one of the nation’s largest drug makers.

The state Attorney General’s Office said Monday that’s the state’s portion of a $1.5 billion settlement with Abbott Laboratories.

The company agreed in federal court last week to settle claims over allegations that it promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for uses that the Food and Drug Administration hadn’t approved.

Depakote is an anti-seizure and mood-stabilizing drug prescribed for bipolar disorder. However, the company said it marketed the drug for unapproved uses, including treatment of schizophrenia, agitated dementia and autism.

Of the $15.8 million paid to North Carolina, about $1 million will go to support public schools. The remainder will go to support Medicaid efforts in the state.

Credit: The Associated Press.