Abbott Laboratories Reported to Pay $1.3 Billion Due to Off-Label Promotion of Depakote

On October 21, 2011, Bloomberg News reported that Abbott Laboratories, an American pharmaceutical manufacturer, would at least $1.3 billion to settle claims that the company illegally marketed its epilepsy drug, Depakote.  This announcement followed one similar from Abbott on October 19, where it disclosed that it recorded a $1.5 billion charge for the third quarter to cover a potential settlement based on government investigations of allegations that it promoted its Depakote anti-seizure drug for unauthorized uses.  The U.S. Department of Justice and 24 states alleged that Abbott illegally marketed Depakote to treat agitation and aggression in the elderly, as well as other uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  Depakote, only approved to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraines, and resulted in $1.6 billion in sales in 2007.

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