W.Va., other states reach $13.5M settlement with drugmaker

By Chris Dickerson | Dec 20, 2017

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general have reached a $13.5 million settlement with a prescription drug manufacturer to resolve allegations it misled consumers in advertising four drugs.

The coalition alleged Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. misrepresented the effectiveness of the four drugs — Micardis, Aggrenox, Atrovent and Combivent — in treating or managing health conditions including heart attacks, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“It is unlawful for any pharmaceutical company to misrepresent the effectiveness of its products,” Morrisey said. “Patients deserve to know the truth when it comes to their health.”

The office said West Virginia will receive more than $153,000 in the settlement.

BIPI allegedly marketed the prescription drugs in an unfair, deceptive or misleading fashion. The company made misrepresentations about the above-mentioned prescription drugs and by representing that the prescription drugs had sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities or qualities that they did not have.  

The settlement requires BIPI to refrain from any unlawful marketing and promotional practices in promoting the aforementioned prescription drugs.

BIPI will limit product samplings of the drugs to health care providers whose clinical practice is consistent with product labeling. The company must also refrain from offering financial incentives for sales that may indicate off-label use of any of the drugs and ensure clinically relevant information is provided in an unbiased manner distinct from promotional materials.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement.

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