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AstraZeneca to pay $110m to settle allegations of fraudulent marketing in Texas

Published on 08/08/18 at 11:30am

AstraZeneca has backed down in a dispute with the State of Texas over allegations it had defrauded the state’s Medicaid programme to illegitimately market two of its drugs, agreeing to pay a settlement of $110 million.

The payment is broken down into two sums, with each focused on the marketing activities surrounding AZ’s two drugs and both dating back to 2013. The first and largest, totalling $90 million, concerns the company’s antipsychotic medication Seroquel, and settles accusations that it had encouraged doctors to prescribe it for uses for which it was unapproved. The second, worth $20 million, addresses concerns that the company had intentionally misrepresented the benefits of its cholesterol drug Crestor.

The payouts are a far cry from the $5 billion the state was seeking, but AstraZeneca has maintained that it had done no wrong. In a statement, the group said: "AstraZeneca makes no concessions or admissions of fault in the settlement agreements. While we deny the allegations, it is in the best interests of the company to resolve these matters and to move forward with our business of discovering and developing important, life-changing medicines – while avoiding the delay, uncertainty, and expense of protracted litigation."

These latest sums now mean that AstraZeneca has spent over $1.3 billion to settle allegations and disputes concerning Seroquel, and is yet to face another suit filed in Delaware which accuses the firm of fraudulent marketing of the drug on a nationwide scale.

Matt Fellows

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