by Max Brantley
The attorney general's office has announced Arkansas will get $3.03 million for its part of two national lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories challenging off-label use of the drug Depakote. The drug is for seizure disorders and migraines, but the suits argued it was used improperly for schizophrenia, dementia and autism, at a cost to Medicaid programs.
The payment to Arkansas is part of settlement of two suits that, nationwide, will produce $1.6 billion. The attorney general's office said $2.6 million of the Arkansas settlement would go to the Medicaid Trust Fund. I have a question pending about where the rest of the money will go. UPDATE: The office says the overage will go into the a.g.'s consumer protection and enforcement slush fund. You may recall that another drug lawsuit settlement, despite making no mention of this use, wound up in the hands of the State Police Foundation for a classroom at the shooting range.