U.S. drug firm penalized $300M for criminal actions


Guilty plea for selling unapproved drug, promoting antidepressant to children

CBC News
September 17, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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A major U.S. drug company, Forest Pharmaceuticals, has agreed to plead guilty to three charges related to selling an unapproved drug, promoting an antidepressant to children and obstructing federal agents.

The company is facing fines and criminal penalties of over $300 million.

The charges date back more than 10 years when Forest was promoting its antidepressant, Celexa, for pediatric use when it was only approved for use in adults. Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. In some children and teens it’s been linked to suicide and suicidal thoughts.

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Forest was also convicted of marketing its thyroid drug Levothroid without getting FDA approval. When the company was ordered to stop selling the drug in 2003, it increased production rather than scaling down. It also ignored a subsequent warning letter.

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