Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Drug Company Caught Bribing Docs with Cardinals Tickets

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 3:57 PM

celexa.jpg
Forest Laboratories makes drugs and money, and plenty of both. And apparently, they bribe docs so that they can make even more money.

On Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times, Forest -- and their St. Louis-based subsidiary, Forest Pharmaceuticals -- agreed to pay a $313 million settlement in the face of allegations that they illegally promoted use of the antidepressant Celexa by children, among other misdeeds.

Celexa isn't approved by the Food and Drug Administration for kids to use. But, the action against them claims, the company encouraged doctors to prescribe it anyway, in a not-uncommon and not-illegal practice known as off-label use.

The company promoted a study that said Celexa was safe and effective for young users, and didn't tell doctors about a similar study that found it wasn't effective.

And doctors who prescribed a lot of Celexa to kids were rewarded handsomely by Forest: cash for "consulting," fancy French dinners, fishing trips and Cardinals tickets.

In the early 90s, Forest had also manufactured and pushed out an unapproved thyroid drug, Levothroid, and didn't tell Medicare and Medicaid that it was unapproved, so they unwittingly submitted claims for the drug.

The company plead guilty to obstruction of justice, and part of the settlement will be split between two whistleblowers. No word on whether they plan to use the money to take in a Redbirds game.

Tags: , , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation