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Deliberations Begin Ala. Drug Pricing Suit

Montgomery, AL – The state of Alabama's lawsuit against a California-based drugmaker accused of cheating the state's Medicaid program out of millions of dollars has gone to the jury.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price turned the case over to jurors around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Price said two jurors with prior commitments would be replaced by alternates if deliberations interrupt their plans.

Earlier during closing arguments, state attorney Jere Beasley told the panel of 10 women and three men that Watson Pharmaceuticals purposefully overcharged Alabama from 1991 to 2005 and owes the state $23 million.

But an attorney for Watson argued that the state knew for more than a decade that it wasn't being charged the wholesale price.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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