Georgia Medicaid to Net $1.78M From Settlement

     (CN) – Georgia Medicaid will get $1.78 million from Shire Pharmaceuticals after settling a whistleblower lawsuit alleging false advertising of Adderall XR and other drugs.
     A former Shire executive and two sales representatives sued the company in the federal court in Philadelphia alleging violations of the False Claims Act. To settle the case, Shire agreed to pay $56.5 million to be split between the federal government and state Medicaid programs.
     “We remain focused on our mission of enabling people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives, and we are committed to conducting our activities to meet the highest ethical standards,” said Flemming Ornskov, CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals in a written statement.
     Prosecutors alleged that Shire marketed several drugs including Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Daytrana, Lialda and Pentasa using promotion tactics that were often false or misleading.
     Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that prosecutors accused Shire of promoting Adderall XR for certain uses without supportive clinical data and overstating the effectiveness of the drug.
     The settlement, in which the company admits to no wrongdoing, also resolves claims that Shire promoted both Lialda and Pentasa for off-label uses not approved by the FDA and not covered by federal healthcare programs.
     U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said, “Marketing efforts that influence a doctor’s independent judgment can undermine the doctor-patient relationship and short-change the patient. Where children’s medication is concerned, it can interfere with a parent’s right to clear information regarding the risks to the safety and health of their child. Shire cooperated throughout this investigation and, in advance of this settlement, began to correct its marketing activities.”

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