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Pharmaceutical Giant AstraZeneca to Pay $520 Million for Off-Label Drug Marketing
Date:4/27/2010

es of Seroquel, and paid doctors to give promotional lectures to other health care professionals about unapproved and unaccepted uses of Seroquel.  The United States contends that these payments were intended to induce the doctors to prescribe Seroquel for unapproved uses in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

"Rooting out health care fraud is a top priority for the Obama Administration, said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. "Today's settlement sends a clear warning to any individual or company seeking to defraud our health care system and returns hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to the Medicare trust fund where they belong. It reflects the unprecedented energy, resources, and new ideas that this administration has devoted to identifying, prosecuting, and ultimately preventing health care fraud. With the new anti-healthcare fraud resources in the Affordable Care Act, there has never been a worse time to try to steal from our health care system."

"Consumers are entitled to rely on the claims pharmaceutical companies make about the drugs they sell," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. "Working with our federal and state partners, we will protect the integrity of our public health programs by ensuring that kickbacks from drug companies do not taint the medical decisions of health care professionals."

"When pharmaceutical companies interfere with the FDA's mission to insure that drugs are safe and effective, they undermine the doctor-patient relationship and put the health and safety of patients at risk," said Michael L. Levy, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  "People have a legal right t
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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