Abbott Labs Admits Guilt and Settles on $1.6 Billion Fine in Depakote Case
May 18th, 2012 | General » Blog »
Despite the impending 'patent cliff', the pharmaceutical industry has appeared fruitful for the first part of 2012. Surprising then is the news that Abbott Labs (Abbott) has been penalized $1.6 billion in fines and received a misdemeanor after admitting guilt to marketing a medication for unapproved uses.
Considering the gutsy moves Abbott made in marketing its anti-seizure medication, Depakote, to nursing homes for treatment of aggression and agitation in elderly dementia patients, the fine of $1.6 billion dollars could be viewed as getting off lightly. The nursing home drug sales were the result of a company organized and trained special sales force team whose sole responsibility was selling Depakote to nursing homes. Even worse, the team continued to market the drug even after its own clinical trials showed that the treated patients often suffered from drowsiness, dehydration and anorexia.
The Justice Department learned of Abbott's violations of Depakote through a whistleblower suit filed by former sales reps that charged Abbott with bribing physicians and pharmacists at eldercare facilities and forcing their reps to falsify Depakote's safety and effectiveness. As a result of Abbott's admitted guilt, those whistleblowers will now share an $84 million bounty from the federal government with additional money coming from various states.
For more information, see the related articles below:
Abbott Labs Settles Depakote Lawsuits for $1.6B
A big fine and patent breaking highlight pharma's week