SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals will pay $68.5 million to 38 states to settle claims that it illegally marketed Seroquel, an antipsychotic. Attorney General Lisa Madigan called it the largest consumer protection pharmaceutical settlement ever.
The settlement eclipses the $62 million settlement with Eli Lilly in 2008 over Zyprexa, also an antipsychotic.
Illinois will get $3.3 million from AstraZeneca.
The settlement ends claims that AstraZeneca marketed Seroquel for unapproved uses and failed to fully disclose the drug’s side effects.
“AstraZeneca promoted Seroquel to treat children and seniors even though federal regulators deemed it an inappropriate use of the potent drug,” Madigan said in a statement. “The company’s illegal practices put our most vulnerable populations at risk, including children and older patients with dementia and other debilitating diseases.”
Doctors can prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but drug companies are not allowed to push them that way.
Joining in the settlement were attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.