A $258 million judgment against health products maker Johnson & Johnson has been upheld by a state appeals court.
A three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a St. Landry Parish jury's decision that the company owed the money to the state for defrauding the Medicaid program, by misleading Louisiana doctors about the possible side effects of one of its anti-psychotic medications.
Louisiana's health agency must save $56 million on drugs for Medicaid patients to help balance the state budget, but doesn't yet have a final plan for doing that.
A top aide to health Secretary Bruce Greenstein say the changes will take effect Oct. 1, and emergency rules will be published in September.
Legislators, pharmacy interests and others tell The Advocate they are concerned about the lack of transparency and what they call a rush to make changes that need caution to avoid damaging health care. Consumer groups worry about restricted drug access.