Pa. to get portion of $13.5 million pharmaceutical settlement

Each state will receive varying amounts

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania will join 49 other states in collecting on a multi-million dollar settlement with drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

The Keystone State will get $600,000 from the settlement. Each state will receive varying amounts. For instance, Kentucky will get $150,000.

Pennsylvania will use the money to support more consumer protection enforcement cases brought by the Office of Attorney General, according to media release from Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

“Consumers, particularly senior citizens, rely on doctors and drug manufacturers to provide accurate information about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs,” Shapiro said. “When a company misrepresents the benefit of a drug, it can cause real harm to consumers. I won’t allow Pennsylvanians to be hurt by companies that make these kind of misleading claims, and I’m holding Boehringer Ingelheim accountable for its deceptive conduct.”

Specifically, the Attorneys General allege Boehringer Ingelheim:

• Misrepresented that its antiplatelet drug, Aggrenox, was effective for many conditions “below the neck” – like heart attacks and congestive heart failure.

• Misrepresented that Micardis protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks and treated metabolic syndrome.

• Misrepresented that Combivent could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

• Falsely stated that Atrovent and Combivent could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum dosage recommendation in the product labeling and that they were essential for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

As a result of the settlement, Boehringer Ingelheim will:

• Limit product sampling of the four drugs to health care providers whose clinical practice is consistent with the product labeling.

• Stop offering financial incentives for sales that may indicate off-label use of any of the four drugs.

• Ensure clinically relevant information is provided in an unbiased manner that is distinct from promotional materials.

• Make sure that requests for off-label information regarding any of the four drugs are referred to Boehringer Ingelheim’s Medical Division for review.

Attorney General Shapiro and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt led the settlement executive committee, which also includes Attorneys General from Arizona, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas. Attorneys General from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the settlement.

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