AG Announces $68.5 Million Settlement with AstraZeneca
Friday, March 11, 2011
This settlement, which is the largest ever multi-state consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement, is expected to bring $908,838 to the state.
The settlement stems from a complaint alleging that AstraZeneca used deceptive practices to market the antipsychotic drug Seroquel for off-label uses, according to the Attorney General. The company was accused of withholding information on the drug’s dangerous potential side effects, in addition to the negative results of scientific study done that tested the safety of the drug.
“This settlement shows the commitment of this office to protect consumers from deceptive marketing and advertising practices by big pharmaceutical companies,” Kilmartin said.
Company promises changes
AstraZeneca has promised to alter the way that it markets Seroquel, eliminating the misleading practices in question. Along with the $68.5 million payment, under the settlement AstraZeneca must comply with provisions addressing numerous concerns that an extensive 3-year investigation yielded. For example, AstraZeneca must have policies in place to ensure that sales personnel do not promote to health care providers who are unlikely to prescribe Seroquel for an FDA-approved use.
Other states participating in the investigation and settlement were: Florida, Illinois, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.