Pharmaceutical companies fined millions for illegal promotion of Topamax
Two subsidiaries of the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson have been ordered to pay more than $81 million for illegally promoting use of the epilepsy drug Topamax for psychiatric uses. Johnson & Johnson itself has been in the news lately because of an FDA investigation surrounding the company’s recall of about 50 different children’s medications and the company’s “phantom recall” of defective Motrin packets.
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical LLC pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and its holding company, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., was charged with civil violations under the False Claims Act. The companies were ordered to pay fines of $6.14 million and $75.37 million respectively for hiring doctors to accompany sales staff to visit health care providers and speak at meetings to promote the use of Topamax for unapproved uses.
For the full story, go to Forbes.