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May 26, 2009

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN AWARDS $2.7 MILLION IN PHARMACEUTICAL SETTLEMENT FUNDS TO ILLINOIS NONPROFIT HEALTH CLINICS

24 Nonprofit Health Centers Receive Funds to Provide Prescription Drugs to Low-Income Patients

Rockford - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today awarded $2.7 million in settlement funds to 24 nonprofit health clinics throughout Illinois that will help purchase prescription drugs for low-income patients. The funds come from the settlements of consumer protection actions against Caremark Rx, LLC, and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. Attorney General Madigan made the announcement today in Rockford, where Crusader Central Clinic Association will receive $192,000 from the settlement funds to purchase discount generic drugs for uninsured patients.

"Low-income patients are increasingly vulnerable to rising health care costs," Madigan said. "These grants will help to ensure that some of Illinois' most vulnerable patients receive the prescription medications that they need."

Both settlements stipulate that the money must be distributed to nonprofits that benefit low-income, disabled or elderly consumers of prescription medications, promote lower drug costs for state residents and educate consumers about the cost differences among medications. Attorney General Madigan awarded the grants to the following free clinics, federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics:

Free Clinics  
Abundant Health Resource Clinic-Carbondale $50,000
Agape Care Team-Tampico $125,000
Blessing Affiliates Community Outreach-Quincy $75,000
Bridge Medical Clinic-Harrisburg $50,000
Bureau County Health & Wellness Clinic-Princeton $125,000
CommunityHealth-Chicago $275,000
Community Health Care Clinic-Normal $100,000
Community Nurse Health Association-LaGrange $160,000
DuPage Community Clinic-Wheaton $225,000
Family Health Partnership-Woodstock $112,500
Hands of Hope Free Health Clinic-Marion $116,000
Health Center of Eastern LaSalle County-Ottawa $65,000
Health Reach Incorporated Community Clinic-Waukegan $155,000
Morgan Scott Volunteer Health Clinic-Jacksonville $75,000
St. Francis Community Clinic-Peoria $130,000
The Ark-Chicago $100,000
Tri-City Health Partnership- St. Charles $85,000
Will-Grundy Medical Clinic-Joliet $100,000
   
Federally Qualified Health Clinics  
Crusader Central Clinic Association-Rockford $192,000
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (6 clinics)-near East St. Louis $200,000
   
Rural Health Clinics  
Family Medical Center-Paris $50,000
Graham Medical Group-Canton $75,000
Thomas Boyd RHC-Carrollton $25,000
Vermillion Area Community Health Center-Danville $50,000

In the Caremark case, Madigan led a 28-state investigation of the company's alleged deceptive drug-switching practices that resulted in an April 2008 agreement to pay $38.5 million to the states, including $1.2 million to Illinois. Caremark, which is one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits management (PBM) companies, processes prescription drug claims and negotiates pharmaceutical volume discounts for employer and government health plans. Medco is also a pharmacy benefits manager. Madigan's lawsuit against Medco similarly alleged that the PBM encouraged physicians to switch their patients' medications and made deceptive claims that the switch would result in significant consumer savings. The company agreed to pay $1.4 million to Illinois.

Division Chief Deborah Hagan and Assistant Attorney General Ryan Lipinski handled both cases for Madigan's Consumer Protection Division.

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