Bryan Cohen Feb. 25, 2014, 2:46pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Friday that Florida joined 46 other states and the federal government in a $173 million settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals to resolve allegations of unlawful marketing.

Endo Pharmaceuticals allegedly engaged in unlawful marketing practices meant to promote the drug Liboderm for conditions that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Florida's portion of the $172,916,967 settlement is close to $1.5 million. Endo will also pay a $20.8 million criminal fine.

"My office played a key role in obtaining this global settlement," Bondi said. "Improperly marketing prescription drugs can not only be dangerous, but also it causes the Florida Medicaid program to expend federal and state tax dollars on unnecessary drug expenditures."

The FDA approved Liboderm for the treatment of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia, which is more commonly known as shingles. Endo allegedly promoted the sale and use of Liboderm for use in connection with chronic pain and lower back pain. These indications were not medically accepted and were not covered by the Florida Medicaid program.

Endo's allegedly illegal conduct resulted in false and fraudulent claims being submitted to the Florida Medicaid program. Florida Medicaid paid for Liboderm which would not have been prescribed if it wasn't for Endo's alleged conduct.

A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units worked with the federal government to conduct settlement negotiations with Endo. Team members included representatives from the offices of the attorneys general of Oregon, Texas, New York and Florida.

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