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Manufacturer to Pay $20 Million for Improperly Promoting a Sleep Disorder Drug

s investigating it for allegedly engaging in off-label marketing of its drug Natrecor.

Although the FDA has approved Natrecor's sale to people with congestive heart failure who have trouble breathing while doing minimal activity, Scios has been accused of improperly promoting frequent injections of the drug in out-patient settings.

South San Francisco-based Genentech also has acknowledged that federal prosecutors are examining the marketing of its drug, Rituxan. Although the focus of the investigation is unclear, a lawsuit by a former Genentech employee has accused the firm and its partner, Biogen Idec, of promoting Rituxan for rheumatoid arthritis before the FDA approved the drug for that purpose.

In yet another local case, Gilead Sciences of Foster City disclosed in December that it has received a federal subpoena seeking documents regarding its marketing of three drugs widely used to treat people infected with HIV.


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