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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 14876

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: news

Florida nets $8.5M in Medicaid settlement
Orlando Business Journal 2008 Dec 29

Full text:

Florida will receive $8.5 million as part of a $375 million Medicaid settlement with Cephalon Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company, according to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

The settlement, announced Dec. 29, resolves allegations of improper marketing for three of the company’s prescription drugs – Provigil, Gabitril and Actiq.

The settlement reimburses the federal government and participating states for money paid to Cephalon by the Medicaid program allegedly due to Cephalon’s off-label marketing campaign. While doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, the law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their products for such use.

Cephalon also entered into a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, requiring strict scrutiny of its future marketing and sales practices.

In addition to the civil investigation and settlement, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed criminal charges against the company, alleging a misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. In a plea deal, Cephalon agreed to pay $50 million to resolve those charges.

The settlement resolves a number of state and federally filed whistleblower lawsuits. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have signed the agreement.


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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909