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Johnson and Johnson fined $81 Million over Topamax Promotional Sales –Off Label Marketing

Posted Apr 29 2010 11:12am

Recently in the news through another division, Johnson and Johnson won a large court case so perhaps some of the awarded money in the “stent wars” could be going to pay fines? image

Also, the company has faced additional competition with generic equivalents becoming available last year.

In this case we are again talking about using medications for off label use which a physician can do, but promoting it for such is not allowed, and thus the guilty plea here and penalty assessment.  The investigation has been ongoing since 2003, so this is a long one coming to a close.  BD

WASHINGTON - Two subsidiaries of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay more than $81 million stemming from allegedly illegal promotion of the epilepsy drug Topamax for psychiatric uses, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Federal drug regulators approved it as an anti-epileptic drug and for prevention of migraines.

The government says Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. will pay over $75 million for alleged illegal promotion of Topamax for a variety of psychiatric uses.

The government says that Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical promoted Topamax sales for unapproved psychiatric uses under a program called "Doctor-for-a-Day." Under it, Ortho-McNeil hired outside physicians who joined sales representatives in visits to health care providers and to speak at meetings and dinners about prescribing Topamax for unapproved uses.

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