RECENT ARTICLES

2010

  • Two units of Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $81 million to settle criminal and civil claims over the illegal promotion of its epilepsy drug, Topomax. Government officials claimed that the units, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical LLC and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, hired physicians through its "Doctor-for-a-day" program to join its sales team while visiting doctors and to speak about the unapproved uses of the drug. In 2008, the year before it lost its patent, Topomax scored J&J $2.7 billion dollars.

  • Novartis has had quite the year in court. Having agreed to a $185 million fine for its aggressive marketing of the epilepsy drug Trileptal, the drug giant agreed to pay another fine of $72.5 million just five months later for its illegal marketing of the cystic fibrosis drug TOBI. The FDA had approved the drug for the treatment of certain cystic fibrosis patients, but, in order to increase prescriptions, sales and ultimately its standing with shareholders, Chiron Corporation (Novartis' predecessor) and then Novartis pushed the drug for unapproved uses, such as diseases other than cystic fibrosis, or for patients with cystic fibrosis that did not meet the specific parameters as laid out by the FDA ruling.

  • Novartis AG's U.S. unit revealed in January 2010 that it had agreed to a $185 million fine regarding the company's illegal promotion of the epilepsy drug Trileptal. The company also announced that it was being investigated for potential off-marketing fraud involving five other drugs: Diovan, Exforge, Sandostatin, Tekturna and Zelnorm. Details on the recent settlement remain limited, as negotiations are still on-going. Novartis recently announced to shareholders that it would set aside over $300 million to cover costs related the U.S. Attorney's Office investigation.