Vermont to get $500,000 in suit against drug maker

first_imgAttorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont has joined with other states and the federal government and reached an agreement in principle with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, to settle allegations it engaged in an off-label marketing campaign that improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. AstraZeneca will pay the states and the federal government a total of $520 million in damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid and various federal healthcare programs for harm suffered as a result of this conduct. Vermont s federal and state share of the settlement is approximately a half million dollars.Since Vermont s Medicaid program is paid with both state and federal dollars, the Medicaid program will receive a check for approximately $200,000 after the federal share is deducted. Attorney General William Sorrell hailed the settlement as “a significant victory for Vermont and its consumers.” The improper marketing practices in this case were particularly egregious given the fact that the unapproved uses of these powerful medications were often targeted at our most vulnerable citizens.Seroquel is one of a newer generation of antipsychotic medications (called atypical antipsychotics) used to treat certain psychological disorders. From January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2006, AstraZeneca promoted the sale and use of Seroquel for certain uses that the Food and Drug Administration had not approved. The settlement resolves a government investigation into promotional activities undertaken by AstraZeneca that were directed not only to psychiatrists but also to primary care physicians and other health care professionals for unapproved uses in the treatment of medical conditions such as aggression, Alzheimer s disorder, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia and sleeplessness.In implementing its marketing campaign, AstraZeneca was also alleged to have made illegal payments to physicians, paying their way to travel to resort locations to advise AstraZeneca about marketing messages for unapproved uses, to serve as authors of articles written by AstraZeneca and its agents, and to conduct studies for unapproved uses of Seroquel. The settlement resolves claims that, as a result of these promotional activities, AstraZeneca caused physicians to prescribe Seroquel for children, adolescents and dementia patients in long term care facilities, which are uses that were not medically accepted indications for which state Medicaid programs would approve reimbursement.As part of the settlement, AstraZeneca will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, which will closely monitor the company s future marketing and sales practices.This settlement is based on qui tam cases that were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by relators private parties who filed actions under state and federal false claims statutes.A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with AstraZeneca on behalf of the settling states. Team members included representatives from New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas and California.Source: Vermont AG. 5.5.2010last_img read more

Harden explodes for 58 points as Rockets rally to beat Heat

first_img0Shares0000James Harden is hoping his 58 point performance against the Miami Heat will spark another scoring streak for the Houston Rockets’ guard © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / STREETER LECKALOS ANGELES, United States, Mar 1 – James Harden delivered his seventh career 50-point, 10-assist performance Thursday as the Houston Rockets edged the Miami Heat 121-118.With Harden in a three-point shooting slump over the last few games, the Rockets have been depending on their reserves to help get the job done. But Harden reasserted himself Thursday in front of a home crowd of 18,100 at the Toyota Center, finishing with 58 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds on a night when the Rockets had to once again tinker with their roster because of injuries.“I wanted to be aggressive and continue to attack the rim,” Harden said. “I took my shots when I had the opportunities.”He got some help down the stretch from Austin Rivers (17 points) and Chris Paul, whose jumper with 46 seconds left followed a failed Harden three-pointer and extended the lead to three. Coming into the game Harden was just three for 31 from beyond the arc in his previous three games.Harden has three 50-point, 10-assist games this season. He had his streak of consecutive 30-point games snapped at 32 on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks.“We get the stat sheet at the end of the game, and I saw he had 58,” teammate Rivers said. “All of us were like, ‘He had that many points?’ We had no idea he had that many points. That’s a lot of points. He was incredible.”Last month Harden scored a career-high and franchise-record 61 points in a 114-110 win over the lowly New York Knicks.Miami grabbed a 113-103 lead on a Goran Dragic three pointer with 6:18 remaining, but Houston answered with a 14-0 run to take the lead.Miami had seven players scoring in double figures with Dragic and Kelly Olynyk scoring 21 points apiece.The Heat shot 51.9 percent overall but went cold at the wrong time, posting only 20 points on six-for-17 shooting in the final period.“We were lackadaisical on defence, especially in that second quarter,” Harden said. “They gained confidence and knocked down shots. They were just too comfortable, so we had to pick the pressure up in the second half, create some turnovers and energy with our defence.”The Rockets were without regulars Eric Gordon (knee), Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf).Elsewhere, Aaron Gordon tallied 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Orlando Magic snapped an 11-game losing streak to beat the Golden State Warriors 103-96.The two-time defending NBA champion Warriors blew an 11-point lead en route to losing their second game in as many nights, after they fell to the Miami Heat 126-125 when veteran Dwyane Wade nailed the game winner at the buzzer on Wednesday.Terrence Ross scored 16 points, D.J. Augustin got 14, while Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 13 rebounds to help Orlando beat the Warriors for the first time since December 2012.Stephen Curry scored 33 points, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins each had 21 for the Warriors, who rested Kevin Durant and ended up paying for it.– Curry goes cold –Curry sank only one basket in the fourth quarter.“Considering the way we finished the third quarter, we were pretty much in control of the game,” Curry said. “But we missed a lot of shots and didn’t get any stops so it’s a frustrating way to end. This is a tough one.”The Magic shot just five-of-23 from the field in the third quarter and trailed 81-70 going into the fourth. They led by eight points at halftime.Ross nailed a three pointer in the fourth to spark a 15-4 run. His final three pointer of the game, with 4:16 left, made it 89-89.Also, Bojan Bogdanovic scored a season-high 35 points and the Indiana Pacers overcame Karl-Anthony Towns’ dominating offensive performance for Minnesota to beat the Timberwolves 122-115.Towns had 42 points and 17 rebounds, scoring 23 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first quarter.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more