SAN FRANCISCO (Legal
Newsline) – California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced Dec. 8 that
California, along with 42 other states and the District of Columbia, reached a
$19.5 million settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb over allegations the
pharmaceutical company illegally marketed popular atypical antipsychotic drug
Abilify. California will receive $1.3 million of the overall settlement.
California and other states
first brought a case against Bristol-Myers Squibb and the manufacturer of the
drug, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, in 2009. The states alleged that
Bristol-Myers Squibb engaged in off-label marketing by illegally promoting
Abilify for therapeutic purposes for which it was not approved. The company
purportedly incentivized its sales executives to engage in the off-label
marketing and purportedly misled doctors and patients about the drug’s risks.
companies endangered and compromised the health and well-being of millions of
Americans in order to turn a profit,” Harris said. “This settlement makes clear that pharmaceutical companies using
deceptive and unlawful tactics to promote drugs will not be tolerated in the
Abilify is approved in the
United States to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive
disorder and Tourette’s disorder.