Abbott Labs to pay a huge price for promoting off-label use

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Abbott Laboratories will pay $1.5 billion over allegations that it improperly promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for dementia care. The firm also reportedly paid kickbacks to physicians and long-term pharmacists to encourage its off-label use, according to court records. The case includes a criminal fine and forfeiture of $700 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $800 million. The company also agreed to enter a five-year probationary period.