Abbott Labs Probed Over Depakote Marketing


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By Ed Silverman

eAs they say: another day, another probe into a drugmaker. The latest – the US Department of Justice is investigating Abbott’s sales and marketing activities of the pill, which is used to treat bipolar disorder, seizures and migraines, according to its quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for Depakote.

The government wants to know whether the drugmaker violated civil and/or criminal laws, including the Federal False Claims Act, the Food and Drug Cosmetic Act, and the Anti-Kickback Statute in connection with Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement to third parties.

An Abbott spokeswoman tells Dow Jones that the drugmaker is cooperating, but declined further comment. And a spokesman for the US Attorney in the Western District of Virginia, which is handling the proble, couldn’t immediately be reached, the news service writes. Deprakote sales fell 70 percent $354 million for the first nine months of 2009 due to generic rivals, according to Dow Jones.

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