A $13.5 million settlement has been reached between Boehringer Ingelheim and the states over allegations the company misled consumers in promoting the prescription drugs Micardis®, Aggrenox®, Atrovent®, and Combivent®.
State Attorneys General alleged Boehringer engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct in marketing the drugs.
The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office reports the state allege Boehringer (1) misrepresented that its antiplatelet drug, Aggrenox®, was effective for many conditions “below the neck”, such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure, and that it was superior to Plavix® without evidence to substantiate that claim; (2) misrepresented that Micardis® protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks and treated metabolic syndrome; (3) misrepresented that Combivent® could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and (4) falsely stated that Atrovent® and Combivent® could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum dosage recommendation in the product labeling and that they were essential for treatment of COPD.
A consent judgment requires Boehringer to alter its marketing and promotional practices, including the reporting of independent clinical studies of the drugs.
Kansas and Pennsylvania led the Executive Committee, which also includes Attorneys General from Arizona, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement.