Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN KROGER ANNOUNCES $442.5 MILLION AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE WITH NOVARTIS TO SETTLE ALLEGATIONS OF ILLEGAL MARKETING AND KICKBACKS

September 30, 2010

The Oregon Health Plan will receive $520,414.06 under the global settlement.

Attorney General John Kroger today announced a $442.5 million agreement in principle with Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation that includes a guilty plea to violating the federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

"Illegal pharmaceutical marketing and kickbacks harm taxpayers and hurt programs that help our neediest citizens," said Deputy Attorney General Mary Williams.

The global agreement includes states and the federal government. It involves allegations that Novartis engaged in illegal kickbacks and marketing to induce physicians to prescribe Trileptal, Diovan, Zelnorm, Sandostatin, Exforge and Tekturna for unapproved uses.

Under the settlement, Novartis will pay the states and the federal government $237.5 million in damages and penalties for losses to the Medicaid and other federal health care programs. In addition, Novartis agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and pay $185 million to resolve criminal charges.

Trileptal is an anti-epileptic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of partial seizures in patients who have epilepsy. The settlement resolves allegations that Novartis illegally promoted the sale and use of Trileptal for unapproved uses between Jan. 1, 2001 and June 30, 2005. The settlement also resolves allegations that Novartis used illegal kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe Trileptal for unapproved uses such as the treatment of bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain.

The settlement also resolves allegations that Novartis used engaged in an illegal kickback scheme to induce health care professionals to promote and prescribe the drugs Diovan, Zelnorm, Sandostatin, Exforge and Tekturna between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009. Novartis allegedly provided illegal kickbacks in the form of payments for speaker programs and advisory boards as well as free entertainment, travel and meals.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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