KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Government Cracks Down On Drug Marketing

Recent crackdown on pharmaceutical companies suggests that drug marketing remains an issue with federal authorities. The Wall Street Journal reports: "Novartis AG's agreement to settle criminal allegations involving marketing of an epilepsy drug is the latest in a string of cases showing that improper marketing practices are still a problem years after the U.S. government started cracking down on them. Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. paid big fines and pleaded guilty to illegal marketing of their drugs over the past year, while AstraZeneca PLC in September reached a preliminary deal to pay $520 million to settle a federal investigation into its marketing. It declined to say whether it would admit wrongdoing in the final settlement. This month, the Justice Department charged Johnson & Johnson with paying 'tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks' to a nursing-home pharmacy company to boost sales of J&J drugs. J&J said its conduct was 'lawful and appropriate'" (Whalen, 1/29).

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