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Drug prices According to one expert, Pfizer’s lawsuit “should be a loud, clanging call to Congress” to explicitly define drug assistance subsidies as illegal kickbacks. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Three years ago, pharma giant Pfizer paid $24 million to settle federal allegations that it was paying kickbacks and inflating sales by reimbursing Medicare patients for out-of-pocket medication costs.

By making prohibitively expensive medicine essentially free for patients, the company induced them to use Pfizer drugs even as the price of one of those medicines, covered by Medicare and Medicaid, soared 44% to $225,000 a year, the Justice Department alleged.

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