Abbott Labs Pleads Guilty to Charges Arising Out of its Promotion of Depakote

On May 7, 2012, the Justice Department announced that Abbott Laboratories, Inc. has pled guilty to allegations arising out of its promotion of the prescription drug, Depakote.

Abbott Labs was charged with promoting the drug for uses which had not been approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration.  In addition to pleading guilty, Abbott Labs has also agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability.  The $1.5 billion payment, the second largest by a drug company, is made up of a criminal fine and forfeiture of $700 million and civil settlements with federal and state governments in the amount of $800 million.

Furthermore, Abbott Labs will be subject to court-supervised probation and Abbott Labs’ CEO and Board of Directors will be required to satisfy certain reporting requirements.

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