AstraZeneca pays $68.5 million in Seroquel marketing case

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Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Thursday agreed to pay $68.5 million to settle allegations that it inappropriately marketed the drug Seroquel for off-label uses, multiple states' authorities announced.

The settlement will be split among 37 states, making it the largest multi-state settlement from a pharmaceutical company in U.S. history, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. States had charged AstraZeneca with marketing the drug, which is approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for use on elderly patients with dementia, among others. In the lawsuit, states also claimed the company hid the nature of the drug's side effects from healthcare providers.

AstraZeneca has denied any wrongdoing. A company spokesman said that the settlement was paid in order to “bring these matters to a close and move forward with our business of providing medicines to patients.” Last year, the company paid the U.S. a $502 million settlement in a separate case involving the marketing of Seroquel.

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