Texas and 37 States Reach Landmark $68.5 Million Settlement With AstraZeneca
Settlement comes after three-year investigation into marketing of Seroquel
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 37 other state attorneys general today reached a record-breaking agreement with AstraZeneca, which the states investigated for improper marketing practices. The states’ $68.5 million settlement resolves a three-year investigation into AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical’s efforts to market the antipsychotic drug Seroquel. Under today’s settlement, the State of Texas will receive $3.8 million.
Today’s multistate agreement stems from a complaint in federal court charging AstraZeneca with unlawfully marketing Seroquel for unapproved – or off-label – uses. The states also charged AstraZeneca with failing to disclose Seroquel’s harmful side effects and concealing scientific data that revealed safety concerns.
The settlement also imposes injunctive provisions that require AstraZeneca to:
• Publish any payments it makes to physicians on the Internet;
• Implement policies that ensure its marketing and sales personnel are not financially compensated for marketing off-label uses;
• Establish polices to ensure that its sales personnel will refrain from marketing Seroquel to health care providers who are unlikely to prescribe it for an FDA-approved use; and
• Cite Seroquel’s FDA-approved indicators when referencing selected symptoms.
Atypical antipsychotics, including Seroquel, can produce dangerous side effects, including weight gain, hyperglycemia, diabetes, cardiovascular complications, an increased risk of mortality in elderly patients with dementia and other severe conditions.