The Los Angeles Times reported this weekend an agreement reached with the large pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca following a multistate drug lawsuit.
The Illinois medication lawsuit stemmed from apparent “off label” use of the drug Seroquel. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. However, the drug has been used to treat children with those conditions as well as adults with a variety of ailments, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Doctors are allowed to prescribe medications for “off label” purposes, but drug companies are prohibited from marketing their products for those non-approved uses. However, the marketing issue was not the only problem. The Illinois attorney general, along with investigators from other states, discovered that the large pharmaceutical giant was failing to disclose the drugs’ potential side effects-hyperglycemia, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and weight gain.
According to the settlement reached by the company with 35 states, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $68.5 million. They will also change their marketing format and properly disclose side-effects so as not to violate the law. This latest agreement comes on the heels of a similar settlement reached by the company with the U.S. government. Last April, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million for its “off label” marketing of Seroquel.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand the power wielding by these large drug companies and the danger their abuse poses to consumers. We are proud to work on behalf of the average patient in their efforts to hold powerful medical interests accountable for their conduct. If you or someone you know has been affected by the negligence of one of these providers, be sure to stand up for your legal rights.
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