Allergan settles Botox case of boy on ventilator

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Allergan more than two years ago paid $600 million to settle with the government for marketing Botox for off-label uses like spasms in children. But the settlement did not completely extricate Allergan ($AGN) from litigation.

The Irvine, CA-based company has settled a case with the mother of a boy whose 6-year-old son ended up on a respirator after being given Botox for spasticity and developing botulism, Bloomberg reports. The company hammered out the settlement a week into the trial in Oklahoma.

The amount of the settlement was kept under wraps, but Ray Chester, the lawyer for the mother and son, told Bloomberg, "While the amount is confidential, young Jackson Wells will be well taken care of for life," suggesting it was sizable. The company did not comment.

Botox is Allergan's best-selling product and is approved for 26 indications in 85 countries. But the company in 2010 agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $375 million fine and $225 million in civil penalties, all for pushing Botox for off-label uses such as headache, pain and cerebral palsy treatment. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said the company even paid doctors $1,500 to sit through presentations about the wrinkle drug's versatility. The drugmaker deployed a host of sales reps to help physicians with the paperwork required to get Botox covered for unapproved use, investigators say. Indeed, Allergan made off-label sales of Botox "a top corporate priority," DOJ said at the time of the statement.

- read the Bloomberg story

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