Schering fined $435M for off-label marketing

A federal judge in Boston has accepted a $435 million settlement with Schering Sales and parent company Schering-Plough over allegations that the drug company illegally marketed off-label uses to physicians and lied to federal agencies about drug pricing. Under the settlement, which was reached in August, Schering Sales pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to $180 million in criminal penalties, while Schering-Plough offered $255 million rather than face a civil trial, the Associated Press reports. A Schering attorney denied that the company ever lied to physicians when it gave doctors peer-reviewed articles about unapproved uses for cancer-fighting drugs Temodar and Intron A. But U.S. District Judge Patti Saris was not so forgiving, telling the entire pharma industry to take the ban on off-label marketing seriously. "You cannot thumb your nose at the FDA," Saris said.

For more:
- read the AP article