Wisconsin Receives Settlement in Off-label Marketing Lawsuit

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Sep 10, 2010 in Dangerous Drugs

The State of Wisconsin, through the Attorney Generals Office, announced settlements with two pharmaceutical companies over off-label marketing and kickback violations.

Off-label marketing involves marketing drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA prohibits drug manufacturers from marketing or promoting a drug for a use that the FDA has not approved.

Wisconsin will receive $74,026 as its share of a $41.5 million settlement with Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc. for allegedly engaging in kickback violations and off-label marketing of its cholesterol treatment drugs Advicor and Niaspan.

The state will also receive payment of $525,903 as its share of a $75.3 million settlement with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc. stemming from allegations the company improperly marketed Topamax, which is used to control epileptic seizures. Ortho-McNeil allegedly marketed the drug to physicians for a variety of psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder and alcohol dependency.

This marketing strategy affects taxpayers because doctors prescribe drugs to patients covered by public insurance programs such as Medicare.

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