Louisiana benefits from settlement with pharmaceutical company

Halen Doughty

Louisiana is set to receive more than $200,000 as a result of a settlement with a pharmaceutical company. Attorney General Jeff Landry announced a $13.5 million settlement with Boehringer Ingleheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will bring Louisiana over $207,000.

The settlement made with all 50 states comes after allegations that BIPI engaged in unfair, deceptive, or misleading practices in promoting several medications. The suit alleged promotions for Micardis, Aggrenox, Atrovent, and Combivent misled consumers about the sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities of the prescription drugs.

In order for consumers to know the true benefits and risks of prescription drugs, pharmaceutical companies must relay correct information to the public,” said Landry. “Like we have seen with opioid manufacturers – companies like BIPI who misrepresent their drugs’ effects jeopardize the health of consumers. So I am proud of my Public Protection Division for holding accountable those engaged in these practices.”

BIPI claimed that Aggrenox was more effective at treating congestive heart failure than Plavix, even though there was no evidence to support that claim. The company also stated that Micardis protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks. BIPI claimed that Combivent could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They stated that Atrovent and Combivent could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum recommended dose on the product’s label and claimed the medications were essential for the treatment of COPD.

The Consent Judgement will ensure BIPI markets their products accurately. The order requires the company to limit product sampling of the four drugs to health care providers whose clinical practice is consistent with the product labeling. BIPI must also refrain from offering financial incentives for sales that may indicate off-label use of any of the drugs.

The pharmaceutical company will have to ensue clinically relevant information is provided in a manner that is distinct from promotional materials, so as not to mislead providers with biased marketing. Requests for off-label information regarding the four medications must also be referred to BIPI’s Medical Division.

A full copy of the settlement can be found at AGJeffLandry.com.

Follow Halen on Twitter: @LikeVanHalen