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Maker of Celexa Pleads Guilty to Illegal Promotion

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Washington, DCForest Pharmaceuticals Inc. has pled guilty to illegally promoting the antidepressant Celexa for use by adolescents and children.

The drug company has agreed to pay $313 million and has pled guilty to obstruction of justice and the distribution of the then-unapproved thyroid-deficiency drug Levothroid, according to the Associated Press.

The Justice Department said that the settlement and guilty pleas will put to rest allegations that the pharmaceutical company submitted false claims to federal healthcare programs for Celexa and Levothroid, as well as Lexapro, an antidepressant.

The news source reports that Forest Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories Inc., promoted Celexa for the treatment of depression in children and adults, even though it had only received limited approval for use by adults.

The Justice Department says the drug maker told sales representatives to illegally promote the use of the drug for children. In addition, Forest Pharmaceuticals hired speakers to promote the use of Celexa for children and adolescents to pediatric specialists, reports AP.


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