HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal won't be happy with a settlement between prescription drug maker Cephalon and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Those two reached a $425 million agreement in principle last week, with all the funds going to federal and state Medicaid programs. Cephalon is accused of promoting off-label prescriptions.
"This agreement in principal -- the result of an unprecedented investigative partnership between Connecticut and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia -- will return millions of dollars to the Medicaid program," Blumenthal said.
"If it becomes final, the Cephalon settlement by no means ends Connecticut's intensive ongoing investigation into the company's off-label marketing."
Blumenthal said his concerns go past reimbursing the Medicaid program. The company's cancer-painkiller Fentora was improperly prescribed by doctors, which resulted in three deaths from respiratory failure, the company has said.
"Our investigation has revealed the horrendous consequences of off-label marketing -- patients potentially harmed by the company's reckless conduct in promoting its drugs for unapproved uses," Blumenthal said.
According to a report by The Associated Press, Cephalon posted a net loss of $306.8 million, or $4.58 a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. In the same quarter last year, it posted a profit of $95.7 million, or $1.43 a share.
"Any resolution of Connecticut's claims must include consumer relief, which we will relentlessly pursue," Blumenthal said.