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

An opportunity in CUs’ sweet spot

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The mortgage market has moved right into credit unions’ sweet spot, according to one expert, who adds that if CUs are to capitalize on the shift they must begin offering new solutions.To do just that, CU Direct has now officially introduced a new platform, Origence, aimed at helping credit unions not just capture mortgage loans, but do so in a market in which a number of name brand lenders have given the impression a home loan can be had in a matter of minutes.Roger Hull, chief product officer at CU Direct, noted big banks have traditionally dominated the refinance market, which has been slowing, while credit unions have typically done better with first mortgage loans, which have been increasing.“Credit unions have about an 8% share of the overall first mortgage market today, and that percentage has grown slightly over the last few years,” explained Hull. “That’s what you’d expect as we shift away from a predominately refi market to more of a purchase market. And while credit unions have always done better in a purchase market, quite frankly they could have a much bigger market share—but there are some things they need to offer to get that.” continue reading »last_img read more

Gold Coast real estate: This house has breathtaking skyline views

first_img64 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.“We were living in Ashmore and we were craving skyline views,” Mrs Delaney said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North3 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa22 hours ago“We fell in love with the views from the house; it is breathtaking.” The grand residence comes with expansive living spaces, patios and a terrace which overlooks a private beach. The family said last year they renovated the kitchen, ensuite and put in an entertaining deck. 64 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.“At first I was terrified about knocking out the kitchen wall because we had been so used to it and adapted to the style but we had also been looking at it and mulling over ways to expand the outdoor area,” the mother of three said. “We wanted to use that space a lot more effectively but mostly just to have a place to sit by the pool and hang out with family.” 64 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.THE Delaney family were after better views when they began house hunting six years ago. The family of five said when they found 64 Commodore Drive they knew they had found the one. 64 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters. 64 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.The renovation took four months with the help of Reece Keil Design and thankfully did not cost her the space in the kitchen. “If anything it helped widen the kitchen because it was previously an enclosed space with walls,” she said. “It’s light and bright and it feels like we are living in a new house.” last_img read more