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Drug company pays $95 million to settle marketing suit

DOJ accused Boehringer Ingelheim of marketing drugs for unapproved uses

Germany-based pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals has settled a suit against it brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which accused the company of marketing some of its drugs for unapproved uses.

The DOJ announced yesterday that Boehringer will pay $95 million to resolve the allegations that it improperly promoted its anti-stroke drug Aggrenox, its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drugs Atrovent and Combivent, and its hypertension drug Micardis. According to the DOJ, Boehringer marketed Aggrenox, for example, to treat certain types of heart problems when it was only approved to prevent strokes.

“The improper promotion of pharmaceuticals undermines the FDA’s important role in protecting the American public by determining whether a drug is safe and effective for a particular use before it is marketed,” Stuart Delery, acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “Such improper conduct by pharmaceutical companies also causes the government to pay significant amounts for products for which it would not otherwise pay. This civil settlement by Boehringer demonstrates that such conduct will not be tolerated.”

Read more about this story on Thomson Reuters.

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