Chicago–(ENEWSPF)–March 10, 2011. Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a $68.5 million settlement with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP over alleged deceptive and unfair marketing practices of its antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. Leading the multi-state investigation, Madigan alleged AstraZeneca illegally marketed Seroquel for unapproved uses and failed to fully disclose the drug’s potential side effects to health care providers.
Madigan said today’s agreement, which 37 other states joined, marks the largest consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement ever reached. Attorney General Madigan alleged the company failed to adequately disclose potentially dangerous side effects of Seroquel and illegally marketed the drug for so-called off-label uses, or uses that aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“AstraZeneca promoted Serqouel to treat children and seniors even though federal regulators deemed it an inappropriate use of the potent drug. The company’s illegal practices put our most vulnerable populations at risk, including children and older patients with dementia and other debilitating diseases,” Attorney General Madigan said. “This settlement is part of a commitment by my office to protect patients by banning this type of irresponsible marketing.”
Madigan filed today’s agreement and complaint in Cook County Circuit Court alleging AstraZeneca illegally marketed the drug to nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and for certain conditions, including anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Under the settlement, AstraZeneca will not promote Seroquel for unapproved use or to physicians who do not treat conditions for which the drug is approved. Illinois will receive $3.3 million in the settlement.
Prior to today’s agreement, the largest consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement reached was a $62 million agreement spearheaded by Madigan’s office with drug maker Eli Lilly in 2008 over its antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa.
Attorney General Madigan led today’s settlement with the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Also joining the settlement were attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Assistant Attorney General Vaishali Rao and Bureau Chief Jim Kole handled this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.