Drug maker AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $68.5m to 36 US states and the District of Colombia to resolve allegations that the company deceptively marketed its anti-psychotic drug Seroquel.
At the New Jersey Superior Court, AstraZeneca was charged with marketing Seroquel, which was only approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for off-label uses including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and sleep disorders, the lawsuit states.
The complaint also alleges that AstraZeneca failed to adequately disclose the potential side effects of Seroquel to healthcare providers, including diabetes and cardiovascular complications.
The company also withheld negative information contained in scientific studies concerning the safety and efficiency of Seroquel.
New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow said, “This case sends a message that we take seriously the duty pharmaceutical companies have to supply clear, accurate and complete information about their products to health care providers, and to market their products without deception or misleading claims.”
Under the agreement, AstraZenca must publicly post its payments to physicians online and cite Seroquel’s FDA-approved indications when referencing selected symptoms, rather than promoting Seroquel by highlighting symptoms only.