New Jersey-headquartered Celgene Corporation will pay $280 million to settle claims that it cited non-FDA approved uses in its promotion of cancer treatment drugs Thalomid and Revlimid. The biotech giant decided to settle after a judge ruled last December that the case was fit to proceed to trial.
Judge George H. King believed the plaintiff had provided sufficient evidence that Celgene was promoting the drugs for uses the Food and Drug Administration had approved neither Thalomid nor Revlimid for.
As a consequence, the government ended up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for “off-label” prescriptions.
Not Just Off-Label Marketing but Kickbacks Too?
Both Thalomid and Revlimid are approved for use in cases of myeloma, but Celgene’s promotion went far beyond that in its claims of the drugs’ benefits for cancer patients. Celgene not only pitched the drugs to physicians making claims about off-label uses, but it also allegedly paid kickbacks to ensure the drugs would be abundantly prescribed....