makes drugs and money, and plenty of both. And apparently, they bribe docs so that they can make even more money.
On Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times
, Forest -- and their St. Louis-based subsidiary, Forest Pharmaceuticals -- agreed to pay a $313 million
settlement in the face of allegations that they illegally promoted use of the antidepressant Celexa by children, among other misdeeds.
Celexa isn't approved by the Food and Drug Administration for kids
to use. But, the action against them claims, the company encouraged
doctors to prescribe it anyway, in a not-uncommon and not-illegal
practice known as off-label use.
The company promoted a study
that said Celexa was safe and effective for young users, and didn't tell
doctors about a similar study that found it wasn't effective.
And doctors who prescribed a lot of Celexa to kids were rewarded
handsomely by Forest: cash for "consulting," fancy French dinners,
fishing trips and Cardinals tickets.
In the early 90s, Forest had also manufactured and pushed out an
unapproved thyroid drug, Levothroid, and didn't tell Medicare and
Medicaid that it was unapproved, so they unwittingly submitted claims
for the drug.
The company plead guilty to obstruction of justice, and part of the
settlement will be split between two whistleblowers. No word on whether
they plan to use the money to take in a Redbirds game.