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Abbott Prepares for $1.5 Billion Depakote Settlement

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Abbott Laboratories is preparing for the second-biggest off-label settlement in history with the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement would resolve an investigation into Depakote promotions after whistleblower lawsuits against Abbott were joined by the federal agency. The lawsuits allege that Abbott promoted the epilepsy drug Depakote, which is also approved for bipolar mania and as a migraine prevention treatment, for unapproved uses including as a treatment for autism, agitate and aggressive dementia, and sexual compulsions.

The whistleblowers claim the unapproved used were pushed in a variety of healthcare settings including assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities in the United States.

The Justice Department reported in court filings, that it has been involved in discussions with Abbott since June, to settle the investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Recent off label drug settlements have been relatively small, however, a probe over allegations that Pfizer promoted Bextra and other drugs for  unapproved uses resulted in a $2.3 billion settlement.

Currently, Abbott Laboratories is considering a full scale restructuring, including splitting the company into two separate companies, with the prescription drug and biologics side becoming one $18 billion in sales entity, while the remaining operations would stay under the Abbott name.
 disclaimer: This article: Abbott Prepares for $1.5 Billion Depakote Settlement was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 7:30 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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