Pharma company pays up

By Keith Loria | Aug 24, 2010


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Monday that a pharmaceutical manufacturer will pay the state $500,000 as part of a national $36.9 million settlement for allegedly marketing a drug for unapproved uses.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based InterMune, Inc., allegedly marketed Actimmune for unapproved uses. Although the Food and Drug Administration had approved the drug to treat granulomatous disease and severe, malignant osteopetrosis, the company allegedly promoted it for use in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

"Misleading drug marketing means that patients and taxpayers pay for treatments that haven't been approved," Cooper said. "We'll continue to crack down on Medicaid fraud and abuse, which hurts needy patients and drives up health care costs for all of us."

Under terms of the agreement, InterMune will pay the federal government and states involved a total of $36,944,043.63 million in damages, interest and to compensate Medicaid and various federal healthcare programs.

The National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units conducted settlement negotiations with the company on behalf of participating states, and the settlement derived from a whistleblower case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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