CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney announced a $355,000 civil settlement on Friday with a drug manufacturer over allegedly improper marketing.
Between 2000 and 2005, Elan Corporation allegedly engaged in improper marketing its anti-epileptic drug Zonegran for off-label purposes. Zonegran was introduced in 2000 and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat seizures.
The federal government and several states alleged that Elan improperly marketed Zonegran for uses not approved by the FDA, leading to the submission of false claims to state Medicaid programs and other federally funding healthcare programs. Elan allegedly engaged in promotional activities that were designed to increase the prescription of Zonegran by pediatric neurologists even though the drug was not approved for patients under the age of 16.
Elan also allegedly promoted Zonegran for such unapproved uses as obesity, neuropathic pain, headaches and a variety of psychiatric conditions. In addition, the settlement resolved allegations that the company offered and paid improper remuneration to health care professionals to induce them to prescribe and promote Zonegran.
As part of the settlement, Elan entered into a corporation integrity agreement pursuant to which the company's future sales and marketing practices will be closely monitored.
Representatives from the attorneys general offices of New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan and Massachusetts served on the settlement team representing the states' interests in the case.