May 8, 2012 | last updated May 9, 2012 11:19 am

State Reaches Settlements With Abbott

Abbott Laboratories, which has a bioresearch facility in Worcester, has reached agreement with Massachusetts and other states to resolve allegations of illegal off-label marketing of an anti-seizure drug, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced yesterday.

The agreements are worth nearly $900 million, of which Massachusetts will receive $19.8 million.

The dispute between Abbott and the states centered around the drug Depakote. The federal government and several state governments alleged illegal marketing of the drug for off-label uses under the False Claims Act over 10 years. Coakley's complaint said the company had marketed the drug for uses that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Abbott has agreed to pay the states and federal government $800 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid, Medicare and various other federal health-care programs, according to a statement from Coakley's office. Massachusetts will receive $17.8 million for its Medicaid program. Abbott will also pay a federal fine and forfeit an additional $700 million.

The second settlement resulted from a multi-state consumer protection involving 44 states and the District of Columbia. Under this agreement, Abbott will pay Massachusetts $2 million out of a $100-million settlement.


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