Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today his office secured $152,000 for the state’s General Fund from a settlement with a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company for improperly promoting its drugs to Kentuckians.
The multi-million dollar nationwide multistate settlement resolves allegations Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. engaged in off-label marketing and made deceptive and misleading representations in its promotion of four of its prescription drugs used to prevent stroke, COPD and hypertension.
“Kentuckians are being ripped off every single day,” Beshear said. “My office is taking a stand. We will hold anyone accountable who misrepresents their products.”
The settlement alleges the company:
· misrepresented that its antiplatelet drug, Aggrenox®, was effective for many conditions “below the neck,” such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure and that it was superior to Plavix® without evidence to substantiate that claim;
· misrepresented that Micardis® protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks and treated metabolic syndrome;
· misrepresented that Combivent® could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and
· falsely stated that Atrovent® and Combivent® could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum dosage recommendation in the product labeling and that the drugs were essential for the treatment of COPD.
The settlement requires Boehringer Ingelheim to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote these prescription drug products. For example, the agreement ensures clinically relevant information is provided in an unbiased manner that is distinct from promotional materials.
Beshear’s office has returned nearly $6 million to the state’s general fund in 2017 through civil litigation and settlements.