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AstraZeneca Will Pay $2.4 Million

From News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) (March 11, 2011)

March 11--AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals will pay North Carolina $2.4 million from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals to resolve allegations that it improperly marketed the drug Seroquel.

In all, the pharmaceutical company will pay $68.5 million to 37 states over the allegations -- the largest ever consumer protection settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, according to N.C. Attorney General's Office. The deal surpasses a 2008 settlement where Eli Lilly paid $62 million to resolve allegations about the drug Zyprexa.

"It's dangerous to push medications as treatments for conditions they haven't been proven to treat," Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement announcing the settlement. "Patients and doctors deserve accurate information about drugs, not to be misled by tricky marketing."

Cooper and attorneys general for the other states alleged that AstraZeneca engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Seroquel for unapproved or off-label uses.

Doctors may prescribe drugs off-label, but it is illegal for pharmaceutical manufacturers to market their products for off-label uses.

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Posted: March 2011

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