Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Another drugmaker agrees to settle for "off label marketing" violations; State sues pharma
I hate to brag (well, maybe not so much...) but I have to say "I told you so!".... At the end of last year I predicted that the issue of "off label marketing" would become the "hot" topic in 2010 (here and here), and it is certainly starting to look like it. Recent reports continue to come in about fines and settlements for violations of regulations related to "off label marketing." (See here, here and here, for example.) Today, Pharmalot is reporting two stories related to marketing of pharmaceuticals. Neither is related to a torts claim per se, but I am reporting them here because they do relate to pharmaceutical products and to the conduct of the manufacturers in how the market those products. The first news item is that two units of the drugmaker Novartis have agreed to pay a $72.5 million fine in order to resolve civil False Claims Act charges over the marketing of a cystic fibrosis medicine. Pharmalot has a link to a copy of the settlement here. The federal government will get $43.5 million and various states will receive $29 million. The second news item reported today is that the Utah Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca over allegations they failed to disclose side effects, notably diabetes, caused by their antipsychotics - Risperdal and Seroquel, respectively - and improperly marketed the pills, therefore, causing the state’s Medicaid program to overpay for the medications. Go here for more on that story.