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State gains $1.6M from national Botox labeling suit

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The Missouri Medicaid program will receive $1.6 million from Allergan Inc. and Allergan USA Inc. as part of a nationwide settlement for allegations of improper off-label marketing of the drug Botox, according to the Missouri attorney general's office.

Allergan has agreed to pay the states and the federal government a total of $225 million in damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid and federal health care programs. After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the company was sentenced to pay the federal government $350 million in criminal fines and $25 million in forfeiture, according to a news release.

Allergan settled after allegations that the company promoted Botox for unapproved uses - headache, pain, overactive bladder and spasticity. The drug was initially approved for eye disorders, head and neck spasms and underarm sweating, Attorney General Chris Koster said in the release.

Allergan also allegedly provided reimbursement to physicians for the off-label use and funded medical education programs, fee-free payments for professional services and grants to health care professionals to promote improper usage of Botox, Koster said.

"Allergan’s marketing of Botox operated outside the law to profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers and those who need the state’s Medicaid services,” he said in the release. “This settlement returns a significant amount of money to the taxpayers’ coffers and will give other companies pause before using such methods."

The settlement follows a three-year investigation by the FBI and its federal partners, according to an FBI news release.

The settlement allows for a Corporate Integrity Agreement between Allergan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Inspector General, which will allow the latter two to closely monitor the company's future marketing.[[In-content Ad]]


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