Attorney General reaches $13.5 million settlement with pharmaceutical company

MISSOULA, Mont. – The following is a press release from Montana Department of Justice:

Attorney General Tim Fox announced today a $13.5 million settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BIPI).

This settlement is in regard to BIPI’s alleged off-label marketing and deceptive and misleading representations made in its promotion of four of its prescription drugs: Micardis®, Aggrenox®, Atrovent®, and Combivent®.
The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia and BIPI, resolves allegations that BIPI misrepresented four of its prescription drugs. It claimed the drugs had sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities when in fact, they did not. Specifically, the States allege BIPI falsely claimed: (1) its antiplatelet drug, Aggrenox®, was effective for many conditions “below the neck”, such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure, and was superior to Plavix® without evidence to substantiate that claim; (2) Micardis® protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks and treated metabolic syndrome; (3) Combivent® could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and (4) that Atrovent® and Combivent® doses could exceed the maximum dosage recommendation in the product labeling and were essential for treatment of COPD.