Colo. gets $776,000 from Novartis settlement

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Colorado has received $776,510 under a two-part deal with Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. to settle allegations of off-label marketing.

Under the first settlement, Colorado will receive $580,800 as its share of a $422.5 million settlement between Novartis, the federal government and the states. This settlement resolves allegations that the company engaged in an off-label marketing campaign that improperly promoted the anti-convulsant drug Trileptal and engaged in a kickback scheme to promote Trileptal and five other drugs.

The $422.5 million global settlement resolves four federal whistleblower lawsuits and claims from the states and the federal government. The settlement accounts for fines, damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid and other federal programs that suffered as a result of the company’s conduct.

Novartis will also enter a guilty plea to a misdemeanor federal charge of misbranding under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 USC 331(a) and 333(a).

The settlement also resolves allegations that Novartis paid illegal kickbacks to health professionals by supporting various activities to induce them to promote Trileptal as well as the drugs Diovan, Zelnorm, Sandostatin, Tekturna and Exforge.

The activities included speaker programs, advisory boards and gifts such as travel, entertainment and meals.