Colorado receives $210,000 from drug settlement

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Colorado will receive more than $210,000 as part of a settlement with Elan Corp. to resolve allegations the company improperly marketed its anti-epileptic drug Zonegran for off-label uses, said Attorney General John Suthers.

Colorado’s share is part of a $101 million settlement that resolves allegations that Ireland-based Elan promoted the sale and use of the drug for uses not approved by the federal government.

It’s generally not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but it is illegal for drug manufacturers to market drugs for non-FDA approved uses. State Medicaid programs do not pay for drugs used for off-label purposes. The money Colorado receives will reimburse the state for losses its Medicaid program incurred as a result of the illegal marketing.

In a related settlement, the federal governments and states have separately agreed in principle to recover $11 million from Eisal Inc. for allegedly continuing to improperly promote Zonegran after it purchased the drug from Eisal in 2004.