N.H. to get $1.3m in pharma settlements

The New Hampshire will be receiving nearly $1.3 million from two pharmaceutical companies as part of separate national settlements.According to the state Attorney General’s Office, in both cases claims for the alleged off-label use of the drugs were sent to state and federal governments for Medicaid patients.Medicaid is run as a partnership between states and the federal government covering low-income residents and others that meet certain eligibility requirements.In April, New Hampshire joined a national investigation into AstraZeneca’s alleged off-label use of its antipsychotic drug Seroquel.Off-label use occurs when a drug is marketed for conditions for which the drug has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat.AstraZeneca allegedly promoted the sale of Seroquel from 2001 to 2006 for the treatment of conditions not approved by the FDA, including Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dementia.New Hampshire has received more than $2.4 million as part of a $520 million national settlement with the drug maker for damages to Medicaid programs, but has to share half of that with the federal government.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the AstraZeneca settlement “the largest amount ever paid by a company in a civil only settlement of off-label marketing claims.”In a separate Medicaid settlement, New Hampshire received more than $175,000 from Novartis and its predecessor company, Chiron, maker of the antibiotic tobramycin, for off-label use as part of a $66 million national settlement. The FDA approved the commercial brand of an inhalable form of tobramycin, TOBI, for the treatment of cystic fibrosis-related lung infections. The company allegedly marketed TOBI for use with unrelated conditions between 2001 and 2006.The Granite State’s share will be $87,500, with an equal amount going to the federal government. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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