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Depakote In Settlement Talks With Federal Government Regarding Illegal Promotion

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has notified a federal judge that it is in settlements talks with Abbott Laboratories after three employees filed a ‘whistleblower’ lawsuit concerning Abbott’s promotion of the anti-seizure drug Depakote for the off-label treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as its use as a chemical restraint for agitated or aggressive nursing home patients.

Doctors are able to prescribe medications for off-label use, and Depakote has been used as treatment for bipolar disorder and depression, however, manufacturers are not allow to promote or encourage medications for non-approved uses.

Abbott Laboratories has also come under fire for the side effects of Depakote during pregnancy, which have been linked to an increased risk of severe birth defects, especially when taken during the first trimester, before many women even know they are pregnant. In 2006 the FDA issued a black box warning about the potential risk of severe Depakote birth defects which may include spina bifida, cleft palate, malformed limbs and skull development, heart impairment and urinary tract problems.

Federal prosecutors have asked to postpone upcoming court deadlines so that settlement discussions could continue.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Depakote In Settlement Talks With Federal Government Regarding Illegal Promotion was posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 8:27 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits, Fraud Lawsuits.

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