DOJ Targets Drug Marketing

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A guilty plea by the company that makes OxyContin caps the latest of several federal prosecutions against companies for making misleading statements about pharmaceuticals.

Purdue Pharma agreed to pay $600 million for misleading the public by claiming the painkiller was less addictive than other narcotics. The company’s top lawyer, Howard R. Udell, and two other executives also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor misbranding and agreed to pay $34.5 million in fines, according to the New York Times.

The Justice Department has increased prosecutions of pharmaceutical makers for misleading drug claims, the newspaper says. Yesterday, in another case, Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would plead guilty to making false statements to the government to preserve a monopoly for its anti-clotting medicine Plavix, the Times reports in another story.

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