October 3rd, 2012
Court Sentences Abbott for Off-Label Promotion of Antiseizure Drug
By Kristin Jones
Wall Street Journal
A federal court in Virginia formally sentenced Abbott Laboratories ABT +0.59% for its off-label promotion of its antiseizure drug Depakote, ordering it to pay $700 million as part of a previously announced $1.6 billion settlement.
Abbott was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $500 million, forfeit another $198.5 million, and pay $1.5 million to the Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for marketing the drug for patients with dementia and schizophrenia. The drug manufacturer will also be subject to a five-year term of probation.
Scott Stoffel, a spokesman for Abbott, said the company “takes our responsibility to our patients and health-care providers very seriously and has comprehensive compliance and training programs,” and is pleased to resolve the matter.