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More Depakote Trouble for Abbott

Filed February 23rd, 2012 Julie

Trouble for Abbott Laboratories just keep coming and coming. New legal battles are looming for the company regarding its sales and marketing of the anti-seizure drug, Depakote. Attorney generals in eight states have formed a committee to investigate the marketing of the drug and whether or not it violated those states’ consumer protection and other laws.

Abbott is also facing eight lawsuits filed against some current and former directors and senior executives of the company in Illinois federal and state courts. The lawsuits accuse top brass of breaching fiduciary duty in connection to some fishy business practices regarding the sales and marketing of the medication.

The Justice Department has been busy looking into whether Abbott violated civil or criminal laws by marketing Depakote to seniors and their caretakers, touting it as a treatment for agitation and aggression in the elderly. Depakote is only approved to treat epilepsy, migraine headaches and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Last year, Abbott sat aside $1.5 billion to settle a potential complaint by the Justice System, which alleged that the company promoted Depakote for unapproved purposes. A final settlement in that case is pending.

Abbott faced similar charges between 2007 and 2010. That time they were filed by former and current sales employees who said the company began engaging in off-label marketing of the drug beginning in the late 1990s.

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