According to a news report in The Baltimore Sun, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $1.5 billion in criminal fines, civil settlements, and forfeiture after pleading guilty in a case concerning allegations of illegal drug marketing. The Illinois-based company will pay $100 million to 44 states, as well as Washington D.C., where officials claimed the company marked Depakote for uses other than those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Depakote is considered safe and effective for the treatment of seizure disorders, migraines, and mania associated with bipolar disorder, but Abbott was accused of marketing the drug for autism, agitated dementia, and schizophrenia.
This sizeable settlement is considered the largest multi-state consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement ever reached. Abbott has agreed to stop promoting the unapproved uses of Depakote and making false or misleading claims about the drug. Also, the company’s scientists, not their sales staff, will develop medical content for doctors and limit distribution of studies relating to the drug’s unapproved uses, in addition to other steps. Abbott said in a statement that they fully cooperated with the investigation, and as a result have established “robust compliance programs to ensure its marketing programs meet the needs of health care providers and legal requirements.”
Drug manufacturers are legally and ethically obligated to responsibly manufacture drugs and provide both patients and healthcare providers with accurate information regarding the medication. If a company fails to do so, an innocent patient’s health and wellbeing may be at risk. The pharmaceutical litigation lawyers in Omaha with the law firm of Cullan & Cullan, LLC understand the severe impact a defective or mismarketed drug can have on a patient’s life and are committed to obtaining the compensation an injured person needs to recover. To discuss your case with us at no-cost, call (402) 397-7600.