AstraZeneca settles over off-label marketing
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 10, 2010
Drug giant AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP agreed to pay the government $520 million to resolve civil allegations that the company illegally marketed the anti-psychotic Seroquel for unapproved uses and paid kickbacks to physicians.
The Justice Dept. alleged that the company violated the federal anti-kickback statute when it recruited doctors to serve as authors and speakers about the medication's unapproved uses. The drug firm's actions also led to the submission of false claims to Medicaid, Medicare and other public health programs, the government alleged. No physicians were named as defendants in the case.
AstraZeneca admitted no wrongdoing under the settlement and cooperated in the investigation.
The case was initiated by two whistle-blowers, including one doctor.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/05/10/gvbf0510.htm.