Drug Company Fined MoreThan $500 Million For Inflating Drug Prices, Inappropriate Marketing

The WSJ Health Blog reports that Bristol-Myers Squibb has been fined for artificially inflating the prices of its drugs, as well paying kickbacks to doctors and promoting its anti-psychotic drug Abilify for unapproved uses.

Given all the recent attention to industry money and off-label uses of atypical antipsychotics, we were particularly struck by the Abilify issue. The drug is approved only for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults, but the Department of Justice accused the company of promoting its use for children and for elderly patients with dementia.

According to the Department of Justice, BMS created a special sales force specifically to target nursing homes. It’s unfortunate for those patients that the drug carries a warning of increased death among elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with atypical antipsychotics.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Fined Again [WSJ Health Blog]