Alpharma Inc. has agreed to pay $42.5 million to settle charges that it paid doctors to promote and prescribe Kadian, the firm’s morphine drug. The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought against Alpharma, which is a unit of King Pharmaceuticals Inc., by a whistleblower in 2006. The suit alleged that Alpharma misrepresented the safety of Kadian and paid doctors to prescribe the medicine from 2000 through 2008. Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s civil division, had this to say: “Illegal marketing of pharmaceutical drugs jeopardizes the public’s confidence in our health-care system.”
I totally agree with Mr. West’s statement. We badly need to clean up the system. The money for the settlement will be divided among the federal government and the states. Debra Parks, the person who filed the lawsuit in 2006, will receive a portion of the settlement as a whistleblower under the federal law.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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