May 8th, 2012

Abbott Laboratories Agrees to Pay $1.5B for Off-Label Drug Marketing

Blog of Legal Times

In the second-largest payment ever by a drug company, Abbott Laboratories agreed today to pay $1.5 billion and enter a guilty plea in federal district court in Virginia for unlawfully marketing one of its medications to seniors for off-label uses.

The settlement, announced in a Justice Department statement today, is still pending approval by the court. The settlement provides for a criminal fine and forfeiture of $700 million, and civil settlements of $800 million, to be split between the federal government and states that choose to participate in the agreement.

The drug Depakote originally was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to control epileptic seizures, bipolar mania and preventing migraines. The company admitted in the plea that it ran a marketing program that urged nursing homes to use the drug to help treat schizophrenia and control aggression in dementia patients.

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