April 23, 2014

Nebraska to receive $5M in national Abbott Laboratories settlement

Nebraska will receive nearly $5 million as part of an $800 million settlement Abbott Laboratories has reached with the states and the federal government.

Abbott also has pleaded guilty to a violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, agreeing to pay a $700 million penalty.

The federal government and 45 states filed a complaint against Abbott Laboratories, claiming it used unfair and deceptive practices to market Depakote for off-label uses. The drug has been approved to treat seizures, mania associated with bipolar disorder and prophylaxis of migraines. The complaint accused Abbott of marketing the drug to treat schizophrenia, agitated dementia and autism though it had not received approval for such use. Abbott has agreed to change how it markets Depakote and to quit promoting uses not included on its label.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit handled the civil settlement and will return more than $3.7 million to the state Medicaid program. The Consumer Protection Division handled the consumer settlement which will net $1.2 million to the state.