Friday, April 30, 2010

DOJ continues to fine pharmaceutical companies for "off label marketing"

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). I may turn out to be right. Although issues of "off label marketing" have not generated a lot of attention in terms of product liability litigation, the practice has generated a lot of attention in other ways. This week the Justice Department announced three agreements with pharmaceutical companies to resolve charges the companies with marketing drugs illegally. Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiaries are ponying up $81 million for their illegal marketing of Topamax, an epilepsy drug. Schwarz Pharma will pay $22 million for failing to tell the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that two unapproved drugs didn’t qualify for coverage under federal health care programs. And earlier this week, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million for its illegal off-label promotion of the Seroquel antipsychotic. For more details on these stories go to Pharmalot,, The Blog of the Legal Times. For more on the story on AstraZeneca go here. UPDATE 5/3/10: for more on the story go to

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