“Albany Times Union: N.Y. Among States Settling with Drug Maker Over Alleged Deceptive Marketing”
December 21, 2017
As published by The Albany Times Union, on December 20, 2017.
States have reached a settlement with the maker of drugs to treat stroke, blood pressure and lung ailments over the alleged deceptive marketing of those products, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“As with the federal settlement, we are not admitting to any wrongdoing. We have agreed to the settlement to avoid the costs associated with a further prolonged legal process related to these allegations,” Crew wrote in an email. “Resolving this matter allows us to focus our energy and resources on researching and developing innovative products to improve patients’ lives.”
Aggrenox is an antiplatelet drug approved to reduce the risk of secondary stroke in patients who have had a “mini-stroke” known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Micardis, in a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers, is indicated to treat hypertension and to reduce cardiovascular risks in patients unable to take angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Atrovent and Combivent treat spasms caused by airway narrowing, associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In a complaint filed Wednesday in New York County Supreme Court, Attorney General Schneiderman alleges that BIPI:
* Misrepresented that Aggrenox was effective for many conditions “below the neck,” such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure, and that it was superior to another drug, without evidence to substantiate that claim;
* Misrepresented that Micardis protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks, as well as treated metabolic syndrome;
* Misrepresented that Combivent could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with COPD and
* Falsely asserted that Atrovent and Combivent could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum recommendation in the product labeling and that they were essential for COPD treatment.
The settlement requires BIPI to ensure that its marketing and advertising practices do not illegally promote these prescription drugs. Among practices the company must refrain from is providing financial incentives to doctors for prescribing the drugs for unapproved uses.