NYT: AstraZeneca in $520M Seroquel settlement

The U.S. government is on the cusp of announcing that Seroquel-marketing settlement with AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), the New York Times reports. The drugmaker will pay $520 million and sign a corporate integrity agreement to settle probes into its marketing of the antipsychotic drug, sources told the newspaper. The company won't face criminal charges.

As you know, AstraZeneca has been working on a settlement deal for some time; it came to a tentative agreement with the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia last fall. And it has earmarked $520 million for the purpose.

According to the Times, the final arrangement will wrap up two federal investigations: one related to doctors who participated in clinical trials of the drug and another the involved the company's sales organization. The company allegedly misled doctors and patients about the drug's safety, downplaying known risks of weight gain and diabetes; AstraZeneca has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

This is the third Big Pharma marketing settlement of late and the second involving marketing of an atypical antipsychotic. Eli Lilly agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle probes into its promotion of its antipsychotic Zyprexa, including a $515 million criminal fine. And Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion, including a $1.3 billion criminal fine, the biggest in U.S. history.

- read the NYT story
- get the coverage from Reuters