AstraZeneca settles Seroquel with government for $520 million

by Ben Vernia | April 27th, 2010

As presaged by AstraZeneca’s November, 2009, announced reserve and agreement in principle, AG Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today the final settlement of the case. According to AG Holder’s prepared remarks:

Today, we are here to announce the latest results of that effort. The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $520 million to federal and state taxpayers to settle claims that it illegally marketed the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel for uses that were not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. As part of this scheme, AstraZeneca was accused of illegally promoting Seroquel to physicians and violating the federal Anti-Kickback statute, all in furtherance of supporting the drug’s use for a host of illnesses for which it was never approved.

The Department’s press release indicated that the case arose from a qui tam suit, but the government has not disclosed the relator’s share. The federal government’s share of the settlement amounted to almost $302 million.

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