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NC settles Medicaid fraud case against drug maker

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- 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.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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