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Lead Plaintiff's Attorney In Forest Pharmaceuticals Case Says $313 Million Award Is 'Tip of the Iceberg' of Future Off-Label Marketing Lawsuits
Date:9/17/2010

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh off his victory for a whistle-blower in the Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. lawsuit, attorney David Stone is setting his sights on the billions of dollars of settlements he expects awarded in future legal actions involving off-labeling marketing practices.

"The award of $313 million in the Forest Pharmaceuticals case is just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the amount of off-label marketing kick-back settlements we'll see in the future," Stone said. "Pharmaceutical companies are under increasing competitive pressures. Unfortunately, in their attempts to increase product sales, many are engaging in deceptive and illegal conduct, which has endangered patients' health and even their lives, as well as cost taxpayers billions of healthcare dollars."

Stone, managing partner of Short Hills, NJ-based law firm Stone & Magnanini LLP, represented a physician who originally brought Forest Pharmaceuticals' illegal marketing practices to the government's attention in a 2001 False Claims Act lawsuit. Stone previously served as head of the False Claims Act department for renowned litigator, David Boies, and headed that firm's New Jersey office.

Stone explained that the Federal government is focusing more broadly on pharmaceutical industry marketing practices. The Department of Justice and the Office of the Inspector General are scrutinizing practices tied to relations between drug makers and the physicians who endorse their products; the content and distribution of product promotional materials; and the complex inter-relationship of manufacturers, physicians, insurers and others in the drug-delivery chain.

Forest Pharmaceuticals recently agreed to settle civil and criminal claims based on off-label marketing and kick-backs to physicians for the antidepressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro, and Levothoid, a drug used to treat hypothyroidism, for more than $313 million.  

Stone & Magnanini LLP specializes in False Claims Act cases in the pharmaceutical fraud area – initiating legal actions on behalf of individuals, as well as for third-party payers such as insurance companies and HMOs. The firm also works with pharmaceutical companies to review their existing practices and procedures in light of current DOJ and OIG policy-related initiatives. Visit www.StoneMagnaLaw.com.

Contact:  Mark Clemente, Steinreich Communications, 201-498-1600, mclemente@scompr.com


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SOURCE Stone & Magnanini LLP
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