AstraZeneca, one of the drug manufacturers sued in Alabama, has reached a $520 million agreement to settle two federal investigations and two whistle-blower lawsuits over the sale and marketing of Seroquel, its blockbuster psychiatric drug. One of the investigations related to “selected physicians who participated in clinical trials involving Seroquel,” according to AstraZeneca in a government filing. The other case related to off-label promotion of the drug. As a result of aggressive marketing, Seroquel has been increasingly used for children and elderly people for indications not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Doctors are permitted to prescribe any approved drug for off-label uses. Seroquel was the top-selling antipsychotic drug in America. It has had $17 billion in sales in the United States since 2004, according to IMS Health, a research firm.
AstraZeneca joins a list of drug manufacturers that have paid billions of dollars to settle investigations initiated by complaints from former company insiders. Earlier this year, Eli Lilly & Company paid $1.4 billion over its marketing of Zyprexa, another antipsychotic drug. Pfizer is paying $2.3 billion, including a record $1.195 billion criminal fine, mostly over its painkiller Bextra, which has been withdrawn from the market.
According to AstraZeneca, 14,444 civil lawsuits have been filed over the drug against the company as of October 9th. Many patients have developed diabetes and other health problems because of misleading marketing. It should be noted that in an internal email message, an AstraZeneca official said “a great ‘smoke and mirrors’ job” had been done on a “buried” study in 1997, the year the FDA approved Seroquel. Significantly, we saw that identical statement made in our Medicaid fraud case.
Source: New York Times
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.