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News Release

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2010

Contact:
Jeffrey S. Cahill, Senior Assistant Attorney General
(603) 271-1246

Medicaid Settlements: AstraZeneca and Novartis
State Recovers $2.6 Million In Medicaid Settlements With Drugmakers

Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announces that New Hampshire recently finalized a settlement with AstraZeneca as part of larger national case against the drug manufacturer. The case involved the company's alleged off-label marketing of Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication approved to treat certain psychological disorders. New Hampshire received more than $2.4 million in the settlement out of the $520 million that was paid to states for Medicaid program damages. The settlement addressed allegations that from 2001 to 2006, AstraZeneca promoted the sale of Seroquel for uses that the Food and Drug Administration had not approved, including Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dementia.

In a separate case, New Hampshire has recovered more than $175,000 from drug maker Novartis as part of a national Medicaid settlement worth $66 million. In that case, it was alleged that Novartis, and a predecessor company, Chiron, engaged in the off-label marketing of tobramycin, an inhalable antibacterial marketed under the name TOBI. The Food and Drug Administration had approved TOBI for treating lung infections associated with cystic fibrosis. The settlement addressed allegations that between 2001 and 2006, Chrion and then Novartis promoted TOBI for unapproved uses, including for diseases other than cystic fibrosis and for cystic fibrosis patients that did not meet the parameters for FDA-approved use.

"The Medicaid program provides important prescription drug coverage for New Hampshire's most vulnerable residents. In order to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from paying no more than is necessary for this program, and as demonstrated by these settlements, my Office will continue to work closely with the Attorneys General from other states in pursuing drug manufacturers when the evidence supports such action" said Attorney General Delaney.


New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658