From the Associated Press:
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and a former subsidiary have agreed to pay more than $515 million to settle federal and state investigations into their drug marketing and pricing practices.
The civil settlement announced Friday resolves a broad array of allegations against Bristol-Myers Squibb, dating from 1994 through 2005.
Among them were a charge that the New York-based pharmaceutical company illegally promoted the sale of Abilify, an anti-psychotic drug, for pediatric use and to treat dementia-related psychoses. Neither use is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In the second quarter, the company reported $412 million in sales of Abilify, approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, a 27 percent increase from a year earlier.
Although physicians are permitted to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, drug companies are prohibited from marketing them for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. [full text]