Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Trying to Keep Up: Novartis Settlement

OK, here we go again:

Drug Company: Novartis
Drug: Trileptal, Diovan, Sandostatin, Exforge, Tekturna, Zelnorm
Amount of settlement: $422.5M
The settlement equals what percentage of one year's sales of the drugs?: 5%
Did the company admit wrongdoing? Pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge; otherwise denied wrongdoing
Link to detailed news coverage:

The illegal, off-label marketing of which Novartis was accused occurred between 2000 and 2004 and consisted of (according to Duff Wilson in the New York Times) "paying illegal kickbacks to health care professionals through speaker programns, advisory boards, entertainment, travel and meals." Without more details we don't know just how the gifts/bribes were distributed or how many of them came after the PhRMA ethics code of 2002-3 and may have been in violation of that code.

Is there anyone left out there who does not believe that this sort of stuff is the standard business model of the pharmaceutical industry, rather than occasional bad behavior among a few bad apples?

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