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Governor, AG spar over Medicaid settlement

JACKSON — The federal government says Mississippi must turn over $17 million of a $20 million settlement with pharmaceutical companies accused of inflating wholesale prices.

Attorney General Jim Hood told The Clarion-Ledger the state doesn’t owe anything, because the companies paid the federal government under separate settlements.

“I will sue to stop (them) from double-dipping,” Hood said Tuesday. “This office will fight any attempt to give state money to the federal government when it is not owed.”

The federal health department sent a letter yesterday claiming the money paid by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Sanofi-Aventis SA, Warrick Pharmaceuticals and Mylan Inc.

Regional official Jackie Glaze says states must pay the federal share of any overpayments recovered through lawsuits if they cannot show that the federal government already has benefited through its own settlements.

“Mississippi has been unable to provide the requested documentation and reports it has exhausted all avenues in its efforts to locate such material,” Glaze wrote.

Hood said his office was not notified about the letter or that there was a documentation question.

“Instead of helping us fight the federal government to keep money the state recovered, Gov. (Haley) Barbour appears to be trying to give it away to the federal government,” Hood said.

Barbour is a Republican, and Hood is a Democrat. The two have been political foes for years.

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