Abbott Admits Wrong-doing

Published 05/07 2012 01:31PM

Updated 05/07 2012 01:35PM

CHICAGO -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Illinois will receive $20 million in an agreement with Abbott Laboratories after complaints were filed that the drug manufacturer "engaged in deceptive practices" in relation to Depakote; marketing it for off-label uses which were not approved by the FDA. 44-other states and the District of Columbia will also receive settlements. Abbott will pay a combined total of $1.6 billion in response to the national civil and criminal complaints.
    Depakote is approved for treating seizure disorders, mania associated with bi-polar disorder and prophylaxis of migraines. Madigan alleged the company deliberately bypassed a regulatory approval process to promote off-label uses to treat schizophrenia, dementia and autism.
    Under a separate agreement, the company was accused of profiting hundreds of millions of dollars from false claims to Medicaid, Medicare and other federal health-care programs through the off-label marketing. Madigan further accused the drug maker of illegally paying health-care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to promote prescribing the drug.
    According to terms in the second agreement, Abbott pleaded guilty to violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. As part of that settlement, Abbott agreed to pay a criminal fine and forfeit  $700 million.

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