Thursday, August 31, 2006

Schering Plough Fined $435 Million: Improper Drug Marketing and Medicaid Fraud

Schering Plough Corporation has agreed to pay $435 million to resolve criminal charges and civil liabilities in connection with illegal sales and marketing of various drugs as well as Medicaid fraud.
"It is vital to public health and safety that pharmaceutical companies are deterred from improperly marketing their drugs to doctors and patients to treat illnesses that these drugs are not approved to treat...the Justice Department will not tolerate these deceptive and illegal marketing practices", stated the U.S. Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty.
"The American people, as both taxpayers and consumers, expect our health care system to be free from fraud and corruption.  The pharmaceutical industry has an obligation to insure that all rules, regulations and laws are complied with," said U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts, Michael J. Sullivan.
One of the resolved allegations is that Schering induced physicians to use off label Temodar (without FDA approval) for certain patients with brain tumors and metastasis and the use of Intron A for certain patients with superficial bladder cancer through improper preceptorships, sham advisory boards, lavish entertainment and improper placement of clinical trials.
Aside from the U.S. Department of Justice Press Release highlighting the aforementioned, a Schering Plough news release confirmed the governments agreement and referred to an Action Agenda  to transform the company with integrity as its center.  Schering Plough, according to the government release, will also sign an addendum to its existing Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which requires extensive work to correct its drug sales, marketing and pricing injustices.



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