Magazine

Table: Under Siege


The drug industry is under attack by the Justice Dept., the FTC, state attorneys general, and trial lawyers for a wide variety of controversial tactics

AGGRESSIVE MARKETING

A former employee of Warner-Lambert, now owned by Pfizer, alleges the

company promoted its epilepsy drug for unapproved uses. The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston has subpoenaed former Warner employees to testify before a grand jury. Pfizer is cooperating with the inquiry and says that the issue arose before the merger.

BLOCKING CHEAP GENERICS

The FTC is investigating whether drug companies with profitable brands improperly attempted to slow down generic competitors--thereby keeping prices artificially high and harming consumers. More than two dozen states have sued Bristol-Myers Squibb, alleging the company illegally delayed rivals to its cancer drug Taxol and the anti-anxiety drug BuSpar. Bristol declined to comment.

OVERBILLING

AGs and plaintiffs' lawyers have sued GlaxoSmith Kline and Pharmacia, among others, claiming they report inflated "average wholesale prices" (AWP) for their drugs. That can result in government overpayment.

POSSIBLE KICKBACKS

The Justice Dept. is probing whether marketing subsidies that Schering-Plough offered to managed-care companies violated Medicaid rules or amounted to illegal kickbacks. The company is cooperating with the investigation.


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