Criminal Prosecution of Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In September 2010, Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. agreed to pay more than $313 million to resolve allegations of civil and criminal liability relating to obstruction of justice, the distribution of an unapproved new drug, Levothroid, and the illegal promotion of Celexa for use in treating children and adolescents. With respect to its civil liability, Forest paid $89 million to federal programs and $60 million to state Medicaid programs to resolve allegations that it caused the submission of false claims to federal health insurance programs by (1) illegally promoting the drugs Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved pediatric uses in treating depression, (2) paying kickbacks to physicians through a variety of programs designed to induce providers to prescribe Celexa and Lexapro in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, and (3) distributing Levothroid in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). To resolve its criminal liability, Forest agreed to plead guilty to felony and misdemeanor counts and pay a $164 million combined criminal fine and forfeiture.

Source: HHS Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program, Annual Report for FY 2010

This article was posted on July 15, 2012.

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