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Texas Attorney General Sues Drug Maker

Pharmaceutical companies can face unique challenges which is why understanding how to effectively respond to those challenges is essential. A lawsuit has been filed against pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, by the Texas Attorney General. The drug company is accused of illegally marketing a drug for unapproved uses and paying kick backs to physicians and health officials in the state which caused the state's Medicaid program to allegedly overpay for the medicine. The pharmaceutical company allegedly paid $465,000 to two state officials who could influence the lists of drugs that insurance companies offer reimbursements for.

According to the lawsuit, the company expected a significant amount of revenue to come from the public sector, as the company believed those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were less likely to be insured and more likely to rely on the state health system. This allegedly led to targeting the state health system. Lawsuits filed by two former sales representatives for the company allege various tactics were utilized to induce doctors to prescribe the antipsychotic pill. Accusations include allegations that the drug company established sales quotas that pressured sales reps to minimize safety concerns, present superiority claims that had not been substantiated and promote the pill for unapproved uses.

A representative for one of the sales representatives noted that antipsychotic drugs have been associated with heart risk and that the alleged conduct may have also placed beneficiaries of Medicaid at risk.

Allegations of off-label marketing led to the company paying $520 million several years ago in a settlement with the Department of Justice. Pharmaceutical companies can face a variety of different types of challenges, including pharmaceutical liability lawsuits.

The development of life-saving drugs can be costly, time-consuming and difficult. There are times when pharmaceuticals require a strong defense strategy. Pharmaceutical companies operate in a competitive, regulated and ever-changing environment which is why promptly meeting challenges with an aggressive defense strategy can, at times, be the best option for a pharmaceutical company to pursue.

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