June 22, 2009 / 4:04 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-U.S. states say Wyeth failed to pay rebates

* States say Wyeth did not pay rebates to Medicaid

* Complaint focuses on Protonix

* Wyeth says believes pricing was correct (Adds Wyeth response)

BOSTON, June 22 (Reuters) - A coalition of 15 U.S. states filed a complaint in federal court charging that drugmaker Wyeth WYE.N avoided paying millions of dollars of rebates to state Medicaid programs that had purchased its Protonix drugs, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Monday.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, charges the company failed to give the government the same discounts it offered to hospital chains and other private purchasers of the stomach acid inhibitor.

“The Medicaid program requires pharmaceutical companies to provide the same discounts and rebates to the state Medicaid program as they do to their large commercial customers,” Coakley said in a statement.

Wyeth spokesman Doug Petkus said the drugmaker stands by its actions.

“The company continues to believe that its pricing calculations were correct and intends to defend itself vigorously in these actions,” Petkus said.

The District of Columbia also joined the complaint. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Tim Dobbyn)

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