Monday, May 7, 2012

Idaho Part of Record Settlement With Drug Manufacturer Over Alleged Off-Label Marketing

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Idaho is in line to receive $1.2 million as part of a nationwide settlement with Abbott Laboratories over allegations of illegal off-label marketing of its Depakote drug. The total $100 million settlement is considered the largest consumer protection agreement ever reached.

Forty-four states, including Idaho, had alleged that Abbott engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Depakote for off-label use without adequate substantiation. Depakote is regulated to be used for seizure disorders, mania associated with bipolar disorder and prevention of migraines, but attorneys general accused Abbott of marketing the drug for schizophrenia, agitated dementia and autism.

"Physicians are permitted to prescribe pharmaceuticals for off-label use, but it is a violation of federal law for manufacturers to market their products for off-label use,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. “This significant settlement seeks to hold this manufacturer accountable for its unlawful behavior.”

Idaho's share of the settlement—$1,220,050—will be deposited into the Consumer Protection Account, which partially funds the attorney general's consumer protection operations. Unspent funds are transferred to the state's General Fund for appropriation by the Idaho Legislature.

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