AstraZeneca settles for $520 million following investigation into improper marketing of anti-psychotic drug

Share this article:

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $520 million to end a federal investigation into its alleged illegal marketing of the drug Seroquel for off-label uses, according to reports from Washington.

The Justice Department has accused AstraZeneca of misleading physicians by emphasizing research favorable to Seroquel, and downplaying potentially dangerous side effects, such as diabetes and increased risk of death for elderly patients with dementia, according to The New York Times. Though it is not illegal to use drugs for off-label purposes, it is illegal to market them for those uses. A 2009 study found that as many as 20% of physicians who prescribed Seroquel for dementia treatment were unaware that the drug hadn't been approved for that use. (McKnight's, 8/26/09)

In October of last year, AstraZeneca set aside $520 million in an agreement with the United States attorney in Philadelphia, according to the Times. AstraZeneca made $4.9 billion in sales of Seroquel in 2009. The company has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Off-label refers to the practice of prescribing a drug for a purpose other than what it was approved for by the Food and Drug Administration.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.