Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Federal Government Slaps $520 Million Fine on AstraZeneca!

A Swedish news source called "The Local" reports that AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, has agreed to pay $510 million for illegally marketing off-label uses of the antipsychotic Seroquel.

"US authorities contended that AstraZeneca illegally marketed Seroquel for uses never approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) such as aggression, Alzheimer's disease, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar maintenance, dementia, depression, mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleeplessness." It was approved originally for the short-term treatment of schizophrenia.

UPDATE: A CNN article says the fine was $520 million, not $510 million, as previously reported. We are shocked - SHOCKED - to learn that the pharmaceutical firm was "...accused of violating anti-kickback laws by paying doctors to refer the drug to patients, while at the same time bringing in money from government health care programs."

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