The Maryland Attorney General's office in conjunction with the federal government and 46 other states has reached a $48 million settlement with a Texas drug company that marketed an ointment to treat bedsores even though it wasn't approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Healthpoint Ltd and general partner DFB Pharmaceuticals marketed the drug Xenaderm to nursing homes. The ointment was modeled after a drug made prior to 1962 that the FDA never reviewed. In the 1970s, the FDA determined the principal ingredient in Xenaderm was "less than effective."

The drug company's actions caused false claims for the drug to be submitted to the Medicaid program. The health program doesn't reimburse for drugs that are determined ineffective.

The settlement includes $33 million to settle Medicaid based claims nationally. Maryland's Medicaid program will get $345,428.

Healthpoint LTD and DFB Pharmaceuticals could not be reached for comment.

andrea.walker@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/ankwalker

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