March 11th, 2011

AstraZeneca settles deceptive marketing claims

Chicago Breaking Business

British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc has agreed to pay $68.5 million to resolve allegations by U.S. state regulators that its marketing of the multibillion-dollar antipsychotic drug Seroquel was deceptive.

The accord with 37 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., is the largest multistate, consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement on record, said Paula Dow, attorney general of New Jersey, which is among the settling states.

Regulators accused AstraZeneca of unfair and misleading practices in marketing Seroquel for unapproved uses. They also said the company had failed to adequately disclose potential side effects and withheld negative information from scientific studies regarding Seroquel’s safety and effectiveness.

“This case sends a message that we take seriously the duty pharmaceutical companies have to supply clear, accurate and complete information about their products to health care providers, and to market their products without deception or misleading claims,” Dow said in a statement.

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