Washington, DCAstraZeneca (AZ) has reached a $520 million settlement with the US Justice Department which will bring to an end federal investigations into the company's marketing practices for its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Seroquel.
The UK-based pharmaceutical company will also sign a corporate integrity agreement with the US federal government that relates to the marketing of Seroquel for off-label or unapproved indications, the New York Times reports.
READ MORE SEROQUEL LEGAL NEWS
AZ faced accusations of misleading patients and doctors about the effectiveness of the schizophrenia medication, and the associated risk for diabetes in particular. As a result of its aggressive marketing practices, the drug was prescribed to treat children and elderly people for unapproved indications. Side effects included death and rapid weight gain, prompting AZ to issue warnings about using the drug to treat elderly patients with dementia.
The settlement makes AZ the fourth pharmaceutical company in three years to admit to federal charges of illegal marketing of antipsychotic medications. However, the company still faces a reported 25,000 civil suits brought by patients who allege the company did not adequately disclose the health risks associated with the drug.