Monday, May 7, 2012

Abbott Labs to Pay $1.6 Billion for Fraud Marketing of Drug Depakote

Under the law, a drug maker's promotional activities must be limited to uses approved by the FDA. Promotion by the manufacturer for "off-label" uses renders a product misbranded. In this particular case, Abbott pleaded guilty to misbranding Depakote by promoting the drug for off-label uses. One attorney described this case as elder abuse. Abbot Labs admitted that they specially trained their sales force to target nursing homes to control patients with agitation and aggression from dementia. There is no evidence that Depakote can control agitation in dementia patients. They also admitted to marketing Depakote with antipsychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia. Depakote actually failed to treat schizophrenia. According to press reports the FDA approved Depakote only for epileptic seizures, bipolar mania and the prevention of migraines. We think Abbot Labs sales force should also be accountable for this egregious act as the sales force indicated that they exploited the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Abbot Labs also gave kick-backs in the millions of dollars to pharmacists to promote their drug for off-label purposes. Many pharmaceutical companies have been found guilty of off label marketing. It looks like they consider promoting their failed drugs as standard procedure, and the fines for doing so a part of doing business. Will the pharmacists have to give back the kick-backs? Will the sales representative also be found liable in Abbot Labs scheme? We doubt it. Pharmaceutical companies make so much money that these fines are miniscule and governments don’t hold BigPharma executives or employees accountable. We feel they should be held criminally liable. We are sure the sales force will just say we were following orders just like the Nazi’s were. The populace needs to get behind holding these firms criminally accountable by pushing it upon their government representative. There are elderly victims of dementia. What kind of animal feels an elderly patient is a guinea pig for their failed drugs? Abbot Labs is one such animal.

1 comment:

Danny Haszard said...

A patient victim speaks.

The saga of the schizophrenia drugs is one of incredible profit.Eli Lilly made $65 BILLION on Zyprexa franchise. Described as *the most successful drug in the history of neuroscience*.

There is a whole underclass block of our society,including children in foster care that are the market for these drugs,but have little voice of protest if harmed by them.
--Daniel Haszard