Texas, 37 States Announce Settlement with AstraZeneca

Mar 10, 2011

Texas and 37 states’ regulators announced today their $68.5 million settlement with AstraZeneca, a British global pharmaceutical company, over its unlawful marketing practices. Texas is expected to receive $3.8 million.

The states charged AstraZeneca with marketing the antipsychotic drug Seroquel for improper uses unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Generally, pharmaceutical manufacturers are not allowed to promote any products without FDA’s approval.

AstraZeneca was also charged with concealing the drug’s potential risks in the process of marketing. Atypical antipsychotics like Seroquel involve several dangerous side effects, such as weight gain, hyperglycemia, diabetes, cardiovascular complications and so on.

Below are the provisions that AstraZeneca complied with:

• Publish any payments it makes to physicians on the Internet;
• Implement policies that ensure its marketing and sales personnel are not financially compensated for marketing off-label uses;
• Establish polices to ensure that its sales personnel will refrain from marketing Seroquel to health care providers who are unlikely to prescribe it for an FDA-approved use; and
• Cite Seroquel’s FDA-approved indicators when referencing selected symptoms.