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ma Supreme Court on Friday threw out jury decisions awarding the state more than $274 million from three pharmaceutical companies, ruling they did not defraud the state in pricing Medicaid prescription drugs.

The court overturned jury verdicts against the drug companies AstraZeneca, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, accused by the state of fraudulently manipulating prices of drugs for Medicaid recipients.

The court ruled 8-1 that the state did not have to rely on the drug companies' information in deciding what prices to pay pharmacists for prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients. The justices said state officials could have done their own research and determined the correct price.

The court ruled the state is continuing to rely on the same formulas established by the drug companies to set prices.

"The state has never altered its course of conduct since taking issue with the reporting methods," said the majority ruling written by Justice Tom Woodall.

Justice Tom Parker cast the lone dissent, saying there was no evidence the drug manufacturers made available to the state the confidential details they used in determining price information.

More than 70 lawsuits were filed in 2005 by the state against drug companies. The state has settled its lawsuits against 16 of the drug manufacturers for more than $124 million.


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